Business Times

Senseless action by SL Govt. to permit duty-free imports of luxury yachts

By Quintus Perera

A top Sri Lankan boat manufacturer, specializing in luxury yachts and exporter, has slammed what he calls a “grossly unfair” decision to allow duty-free import of marine vessels. Such a move, he warned, adversely affects Sri Lanka’s boat making industry and exports because of the availability of cheap, imported marine craft, in the local market.

Neil Fernando, Chairman, Boat Building Technology Improvement Institute (BTI) and Chairman, Penthouse Group of Companies, made these comments at the launch of the Boat Show Sri Lanka 2012 held in Colombo this week.

He said this senseless action of the government could ruin the boat building industry, especially pleasure boats manufacturing which have gained a ready export market, throughout. He told the Business Times on the sidelines of the media briefing that they could not see any adducible reason for this ‘senseless’ action of the authorities when the local boat builders have to pay duty for all their equipment and spares for their trade. He said that they are having negotiations with the government to stop these ‘duty-free imports’. Otherwise he said that their industry would be doomed.

The Boat Show 2012 organized by BTI in collaboration with the Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services and supported by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Export Development Board, is scheduled to be held from 18 to 20 May at the BMICH.

This is the third time the Boat Show is held and it has attracted leading industry suppliers in the region to display a wide range of products at the exhibition.

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