Sri Lanka is allowing commercial vehicle imports after three years of a financial crisis, but importers are unable to open letters of credit at banks. The government had assured that such imports would be allowed starting in September, but banks are refusing to open LCs for bus and truck imports.
This has left importers frustrated and at a loss, as they are unable to import the vehicles they need. The Ceylon Motor Traders Association has also expressed reservations about the new policy, which allows the import of buses up to 10 years old, as opposed to the previous limit of five years.
The association is concerned about the environmental and safety impacts of buses that are 10 years of age and their roadworthiness, especially if they are not properly tested beforehand.
Overall, the situation is confusing and frustrating for importers and the motor trade industry as a whole. It is unclear why banks are refusing to open LCs for buses and truck imports, and the government needs to clarify its policy on this issue.