MP knocked down by duty-free racket

An MP who recently sold his duty-free vehicle permit to a person unknown to him through a broker has now been called upon to pay a luxury tax as the new owner has imported a vehicle over the engine power permitted.

The MP has admitted to the Motor Traffic Department that he does not know the identity of the person to whom his permit was sold. The details came to light when the MP was asked to pay a luxury tax of Rs.100,000 by the Department of Motor Traffic after a vehicle exceeding 1800 CC was imported using his permit

The duty-free vehicle permit is issued to legislators on condition that they cannot sell it or import a vehicle and sell it for five years unless they pay back to the state the amount that is due in Customs and other levies which were waived due to the permit.

To circumvent the law, the country’s lawmakers “sell” their permits but keep ownership papers under their name. The Sunday Times learns that MPs and many ministers continue to sell their permits at prices up to Rs. 15 million.

An MP is required to pay around Rs. 69,445 a month during his six-year term in the legislature to settle the US$ 50,000 (Five million rupees) loan granted to him or her to buy a vehicle.However, an MP’s monthly salary is Rs 54,285/ a month but with allowances he or she gets around Rs 198,000.

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