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Junkfriend

vehicle imports to be stopped for 1 year?

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Well..considering the economic losses the country is taking and is going to be taking over the next few months...we will be lucky if it is only for 1 year. But, if it really does help the country and help with the valuing of the LKR..is it not worth the sacrifice in the long run ? If the ban does go through, I hope the government will take advantage of the pause and implement strong guidelines and regulations before the market is open again and all kinds of crap start flooding in.

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Posted (edited)

The cars in the country are already hugely overpriced right now. Also leasing interest is really high!

I was also in the market and decided not to go ahead. Almost every vehicle is 3-20 lacks(depending on model) marked up at the moment.

Edited by fiat fan
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3 hours ago, fiat fan said:

I was also in the market and decided not to go ahead. Almost every vehicle is 3-20 lacks(depending on model) marked up at the moment.

You mean registered or unregistered? 

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3 hours ago, fiat fan said:

The cars in the country are already hugely overpriced right now. Also leasing interest is really high!

I was also in the market and decided not to go ahead. Almost every vehicle is 3-20 lacks(depending on model) marked up at the moment.

Vehicles were anyhow overpriced, on the interest rates I beg to differ. Current interest rates are lower than what we experienced 2-3 years ago.

The reason for the overprice has always been due to taxes that were implemented based on the number of vehicles coming into the country. Previous government didnt ban imports but they were trying to limit the import numbers, but couldnt go through due to permits and the bad popularity they had. Atleast the pandemic has given the chance to this government to put right what was wrong.

4 hours ago, iRage said:

Well..considering the economic losses the country is taking and is going to be taking over the next few months...we will be lucky if it is only for 1 year. But, if it really does help the country and help with the valuing of the LKR..is it not worth the sacrifice in the long run ? If the ban does go through, I hope the government will take advantage of the pause and implement strong guidelines and regulations before the market is open again and all kinds of crap start flooding in.

True vehicle imports contribute to more than 50% of the cash going out of the country. If you look at the previous years statics you will see a stark increase until last year October and a small decline after that. Problem the country faces is that we dont get foreign exchange coming into the country, so they have to limit imports. 

I am from the industry and I know a lot of people will be thinking about the job security right now, certain agents were planning on launching new models and they have invested heavily on them, but now they dont know what to do once they run out of stock. 

On the plus side I think it will help the law makers come with long term plans for the industry (@least 5 year plans) instead of the ad hoc policy changes they do. Its a good time to improve the public transport system now that people are getting used to social distancing and less overcrowding, if you take that forward we can have a good public transport system. On motor vehicles they should have a system like in Singapore where you have get a vehicle entitlement certificate, which should limit imports, also we need to come to think of how to take falling apart vehicle off the road and the owners get an incentive towards there new purchase.

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8 minutes ago, Gummybr said:

On motor vehicles they should have a system like in Singapore where you have get a vehicle entitlement certificate, which should limit imports, 

This is good one considering traffic as well as parking spaces. We could see huge numbers of vehicles parked roadsides in the evening and night (specially on Colombo byroads which is unpleasant to road users). The people who live in flats have numbers of vehicles and three wheelers but they have no dedicated parking spaces. 

Before implementing a regulatory system, there should be a good citizens database including where they actually living, etc.  

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2 hours ago, gayanath said:

You mean registered or unregistered? 

Mostly unreg. But also registered is higher than before. Actually some used cars are more expensive than the unregistered cars(same model).

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2 hours ago, Gummybr said:

Vehicles were anyhow overpriced, on the interest rates I beg to differ. Current interest rates are lower than what we experienced 2-3 years ago.

 

They were quite low around beginning april. But they have risen up again after the virus. Checked with many places and most said the same.

Eg- was at 2400ish pre april. Went down to 1960 around after. Now back at 2450ish. Unreg cars. Registered is much more higher than that.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Gummybr said:

On the plus side I think it will help the law makers come with long term plans for the industry (@least 5 year plans) instead of the ad hoc policy changes they do. Its a good time to improve the public transport system now that people are getting used to social distancing and less overcrowding, if you take that forward we can have a good public transport system. On motor vehicles they should have a system like in Singapore where you have get a vehicle entitlement certificate, which should limit imports, also we need to come to think of how to take falling apart vehicle off the road and the owners get an incentive towards there new purchase.

Well...we can only hope the policies will be developed with actual proper professionals in the industry rather than listening to clueless politicians, bus drivers and car Mudalaalis. My sad fear is that the biggest obstacle in doing this is going to be the general population. People are going to yell and scream saying the government is infringing upon their human rights. That such bans and limitations and enforcement of road worthy tests, etc...would make it impossible for the average individual to buy a used second hand car or even an Alto....We have deep rooted social problems that mess things up (measuring an individual's worth and success based on what they wear and drive as opposed to true contribution to society or being a decent human being)

Nevertheless..this is going to be a huge problem for many people whose income was built around a toxic industry. I am not talking about he car mudalaalis...but the low-end workers.

It is sad that you mention that we need to adopt a system similar to Singapore. In the late 70s, early 80s, Singapore praised the Sri Lanka model for vehicle imports and adopted our system in their country :) Our permit scheme was intended to to limit imports. Which actually was the case back then. There were X number of permits for X number of people and cars were imported under each permit holder's name (if I am not mistaken there were different categories of permits...issued against the passport for foreign workers, local residents after a set period of time, etc...). Car sales would purchase the permits from these individuals and sell them off.

Edited by iRage

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wonder if the Ban applies to Ministers and Doctors permits. otherwise it will be not effective because most of these permits end up selling in the black market.

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13 hours ago, Gummybr said:

On motor vehicles they should have a system like in Singapore where you have get a vehicle entitlement certificate, which should limit imports

I doubt how that can work in our corrupted system. More middlemen, more deals...

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I wish the non essential vehicle imports (cars, luxury vehicles, motorcycles) would stop for a couple of years, while still permitting commercial/special purpose ones like decent busses, panel vans, prime movers, ambulance and such.

With election around the corner and a few new cronies waiting impatiently to grab a permit, I doubt that anything would change. They might say a convoy of latest Jeep's is essential for them to get to their electorate to "serve" the voters. Government servants entitled for a permit haven't changed their minds either.

Personally I think now is not the best time to clamp down on non roadworthy vehicles (given the economic hardships people face now). But a good time to prevent substandard imports. (Hacked to death Japanese recons and substandard Indian bn ones).

There was a hint of improvement in public transport with reserving train tickets and changing the schedule based on demand. CTB busses dedicated to offices.. it failed miserably. A step in the right direction nevertheless.

Also, rather than trying to limit the drain of foreign exchange for vehicles during the immediate future, we should look in to other ways of preserving foreign exchange. We will be importing vehicles for the foreseeable future. Halting it for one year is a temporary fix. A sustainable method of preventing foreign exchange drain would be to limit imports of food, milk, fruits, clothing. Sure we may not be able to grow wheat here successfully. But we can find an alternative that we can grow here. Imported onions, potato, apples, mandarins and milk powder can stop. We can find suitable alternative food sources. It's not like we will die without wheat flour bread and milk. Intelligent omnivores animals like us can adapt much better.

Permanently hanging our food habits will cumulatively save more than a temporary ban on importing vehicles for an year. Or else we are back at square one after one year.

As a country, If we are not ready to give up some creature comforts, we better work out a method to bring down shit loads of FE through services sector.

(I'm no economics expert. All this might be a pipe dream 😂)

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Only a Subway system can transport thousands of people during rush hour efficient and cheap. Although the construction cost  is high, there are savings in prime land acquisition, traveling time reduction and  passenger capacity compared to overground systems like monorail, buses.

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1 hour ago, ajm said:

Only a Subway system can transport thousands of people during rush hour efficient and cheap. Although the construction cost  is high, there are savings in prime land acquisition, traveling time reduction and  passenger capacity compared to overground systems like monorail, buses.

Wasn't there a soil/geo test done sometime back ?

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16 hours ago, iRage said:

Wasn't there a soil/geo test done sometime back ?

I think the Japanese government offered a grant for the LRT construction but that was for the overland monorail

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12 hours ago, Devinda_Z said:

I think the Japanese government offered a grant for the LRT construction but that was for the overland monorail

And that was scrapped I think.

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On 5/27/2020 at 9:45 AM, Gummybr said:

And that was scrapped I think.

On 5/27/2020 at 9:45 AM, Gummybr said:

And that was scrapped I think.

@Gummybrseriously??!!! After all that jumping and down with this whole Megapolis business is it really out the window?? :o

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15 hours ago, Devinda_Z said:

@Gummybrseriously??!!! After all that jumping and down with this whole Megapolis business is it really out the window?? :o

The website says its happening, but last I heard they didnt want to go ahead with it saying too costly or something or the other.

http://www.themorning.lk/light-rail-transit-project-changing-tracks/

 

This is why the country doesnt go forward, someone implements something good and the person coming in totally does away with it. We need long term plans and not these short term plans to put your name on. I am very hopeful that after all this Corona situation everything would change for the better, right now it doesnt seem so but am still hopeful.

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3 hours ago, Gummybr said:

The website says its happening, but last I heard they didnt want to go ahead with it saying too costly or something or the other.

http://www.themorning.lk/light-rail-transit-project-changing-tracks/

 

This is why the country doesnt go forward, someone implements something good and the person coming in totally does away with it. We need long term plans and not these short term plans to put your name on. I am very hopeful that after all this Corona situation everything would change for the better, right now it doesnt seem so but am still hopeful.

Yes...no long term vision because of short term political interests and then "experts" crying foul over things they do not know.  All countries that give grants have clauses that state products or services amounting to a certain percentage needs to come from the donor country. The US had some ridiculous clauses. Everything had to be American sourced. When not possible we had to show that it was not possible to source from the US and it had to be branded as being funded by the US **SEE NOTE. China is no different....their loans bring in their labor (and their labor never leaves). Same with Japan. When we were in Tanzania Japanese funds for a highway were allocated to a Chinese contractor. During a 6 month review JICA identified a hole host of items that were not up to specs and the contractor was advised to rectify them. However they did not and the Chinese company kept on going ahead. 1 year review came about...Japan froze all payment. Finally after a lot of yelling and screaming by the Tanzanian government the Chinese company had to rip everything apart and fix everything up mostly at their cost.  So Japan now has a pretty strong policy of not awarding its funded projects to non-Japanese companies. The typical way they go about it is they have Japanese companies start up local offices of their companies (like they do in Vietnam) and this gets linked with the Japanese government's local enterprise development initiatives in whatever country.

 

NOTE : Fine all donors require visibility for themselves...but the US is pretty picky about it. For certain project we had to say this meeting (or whatever) is/was made possible through the generosity of the American people. One of our project managers was so pissed off that when he ordered 10,000 condoms or something he got stickers that say "Courtesy of the USA" stuck on the condoms :)..needless to say USAid did not find it funny :)

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14 hours ago, iRage said:

Yes...no long term vision because of short term political interests and then "experts" crying foul over things they do not know.  All countries that give grants have clauses that state products or services amounting to a certain percentage needs to come from the donor country. The US had some ridiculous clauses. Everything had to be American sourced. When not possible we had to show that it was not possible to source from the US and it had to be branded as being funded by the US **SEE NOTE. China is no different....their loans bring in their labor (and their labor never leaves). Same with Japan. When we were in Tanzania Japanese funds for a highway were allocated to a Chinese contractor. During a 6 month review JICA identified a hole host of items that were not up to specs and the contractor was advised to rectify them. However they did not and the Chinese company kept on going ahead. 1 year review came about...Japan froze all payment. Finally after a lot of yelling and screaming by the Tanzanian government the Chinese company had to rip everything apart and fix everything up mostly at their cost.  So Japan now has a pretty strong policy of not awarding its funded projects to non-Japanese companies. The typical way they go about it is they have Japanese companies start up local offices of their companies (like they do in Vietnam) and this gets linked with the Japanese government's local enterprise development initiatives in whatever country.

 

NOTE : Fine all donors require visibility for themselves...but the US is pretty picky about it. For certain project we had to say this meeting (or whatever) is/was made possible through the generosity of the American people. One of our project managers was so pissed off that when he ordered 10,000 condoms or something he got stickers that say "Courtesy of the USA" stuck on the condoms :)..needless to say USAid did not find it funny :)

Japan on picky on their funded projects mostly because of corruption. Generally their funding is with softer terms without ulterior motives compared to China. Most of the Japan funded projects in SL got scrapped because there were no room for corruption to the extent our politicians wanted.

 

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