Sri Lanka imported only 13 three-wheelers in the first quarter (January-March) this year due to the Government’s restrictions on vehicle imports to protect Sri Lanka’s sparse foreign reserves, latest Central Bank of Sri Lanka data showed. The comparative figure in first quarter (1Q) 2021 was 54.
Three-wheelers were promoted as a means of self-employment during the Mahinda Rajapaksa era. Consequently, three-wheeler imports in the review quarter declined by 75.9 per cent year on year (YoY) to 13. Meanwhile motorcycles imports fell by 64.6 per cent YoY to 1,247 during the review period.The comparative figure in 1Q 2021 was 3,525.
But a “silver lining” in the review period was bus imports growing by 19.9 per cent YoY to 181 units.The comparative figure in 1Q 2021 was 151. Nonetheless, vehicle imports in the review quarter (Q) as a whole fell, with imports declining by 42 per cent (YoY) to 6,180 units. The comparative figure in 1Q 2021 was 10,661.
Other declines observed were dual purpose vehicles including single cabpickup truck imports falling by 68.2 per centYoY to 113 units, motorcars falling by 66 per cent YoYto 445 units, goods transport vehicles such as lorries falling by 31.1 per cent YoY to 953 and land vehicles such as tractors and single-axle tractors, down by 16.8 per cent to 3,228 units.
Meanwhile, the comparative figures in 1Q 2021 were, dual purpose vehicles including single cab pickup truck imports (355), motorcars (1,309); goods transport vehicles (1,384) and land vehicle imports (3,882), respectively.
By Paneetha Ameresekere