US$ 64.7mn vanishes in under-invoiced Rolls Royce Ghost import; Harsha exposes phantom economics:

Harsha De Silva

Opposition lawmaker and UNP Economic Spokesman Dr. Harsha De Silva urged the authorities to investigate an under invoiced importation of a Rolls Royce Ghost series luxury saloon which has cost the government tax revenue worth a whopping US$ 64.7 million.

Speaking to journalists yesterday (01), the law maker said the Customs document for the imported Rolls Royce Ghost revealed a purchase price of US$ 175,000 and due to the huge tax rate on imported luxury vehicles, total taxes on its importation amounted to US$ 61.7 million.

“We checked the Rolls Royce website and found that the purchase price of a Rolls Royce Ghost was around US$ 360,000. Therefore the taxes on this importation should have amounted to US$ 126.4 million,” Dr. De Silva said.

The government has lost US$ 64.7 million in the bargain.

“We are not going to accuse anyone of anything, but we urge the authorities to take a closer look in to this matter,” Dr. De Silva said, adding that the Rolls Royce could not have been brought down by a duty-free vehicle import permit holder, as the maximum limit was US$ 50,000 which applied to parliamentarians.

He also discounted the vehicle being second hand. “The Rolls Royce Ghost is fairly new, so there is no-way anyone would sell it off for half its price.

Dr. De Silva waved a copy of the Customs document in question at yesterday’s media briefing, but declined to disclose the name of the importer.

Dr. De Silva, who often accused the government of practicing crony-capitalism, said the authorities should investigate this under invoiced Rolls Royce import and take action against the offenders.

The Island