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Move to deny credit to less-affluent advised by ‘university scholars’

ECONOMYNEXT – A move to deny credit to the less affluent to purchase a three-wheeler by Sri Lanka’s government, which smacks dangerously on social engineering, was mooted by ‘university scholars’, a finance ministry statement said.

The Central Bank had issued regulations requiring a down payment of 75 percent to be made before leasing a three-wheeler.

Yet another public body to be built out of taxpayer funds, expanding an already-bloated state to regulate three-wheelers, as well as squeeze credit to potential new buyers has been made by ‘university scholars’, the statement said.

"Budget 2017, which welcomed the argument by university experts, has proposed new regulations in leasing out three-wheelers."

Until the new administration came into office, people especially from poorer sections of society have bought three-wheelers with 10 percent down.

Three-wheelers are used as taxis, but increasingly they were bought by craftsmen like carpenters, painters and plumbers.

Many other micro-entrepreneurs, like small shopkeepers, also bought them for their private use and did a taxi-run as a part-time job, especially to take neighbourhood kids to school.

However, three-wheeler owners had become a section of ‘ugly people’ for some in upper echelons of society, including for those who already owned cars and interventionists, liberty advocates say. Interventionists would prefer them to work in factory floors and not in the service sector. Three wheelers are also blamed for the lack of tree-climbers and odd-job men.

Three-wheelers have filled a transport gap in society where public buses, which is a highly regulated, licensed industry with heavy state interference, could not evolve to meet the changing needs of a society. (Colombo/Jan23/2017)





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