Sri Lankan Cabinet Spokesperson, Minister Bandula Gunawardena, confirmed that there will be no relaxation of vehicle import restrictions in 2024. While President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who also serves as the Finance Minister, expressed hope for an easing of restrictions in 2025, this will depend on careful evaluation and meeting International Monetary Fund (IMF) requirements.

Sri Lanka’s extended fund facility with the IMF necessitates specific targets for foreign exchange reserves, with goals of $8 billion by 2025, $10 billion by 2026, and $14 billion by 2027. The government cannot risk depleting these reserves through increased vehicle imports.

Minister Gunawardena emphasized that a committee under the Finance Ministry is currently gathering information and formulating a plan for potential future easing of restrictions. No final decisions have been made, and any changes will prioritize maintaining healthy foreign exchange reserves.

COLOMBO (News1st)