Fumes Test Fees Increase Fume in Public Mind
Currently emission test fees charged in Srilanka is Rs 1,200.00. In India it is only Ind.Rs125.00, which is
equivalent to Srilankan Rs 268.75. Real cost of doing this emission test is not disclosed. Currently
Government reported to have been receiving only 10% of Rs1, 200.00. In other words Government gets
Rs 120.00 and balance Rs 1080.00 goes to Laughs and Akbars Companies.
With the 2016 Budget emission test fees increase from Rs 1,200.00 to Rs 5,000.00, who is getting the
maximum benefit? Is it the Government or the Companies providing the services? These are the
questions raised by the Public.
While the Public welcomes some of the Budget progressive proposals apart from reducing prices of
essential food items, gas and kerosene, they are critical on unprecedented exorbitant increase of Rs
3,800.00 on emission test. There is no justification. Even the Finance Minister has failed to justify it.
Immediately after the Budget Motorists, three wheel and Motor bicycle owners expressed their shock
and resentment. In response Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake was quick to announce in Parliament
that this levy only applies to vehicle with four wheels and not to three wheelers and motor cycles.
Further, while responding to wide spread criticism on his ‘futuristic” Budget 2016 proposals by the
opposition and trade unions, he justified thus:
On VAT & NBT increase on electricity, Water and Telephones –“ Relevant Institutions absorb increase
without passing on to the consumer”
On increase in Vehicle Tax –“ Too many vehicles on the road. So corrected”
On loss of tax concession on electric car imports –“ More than expected number of electric cars are
imported. Local companies are producing Electric cars. To protect local industry and to get necessary
On new voucher system to buy fertilizer – “Government will incur the same cost and the new system
will be more beneficial to the recipient farmers. Govt. ensures the farmers the Market price”.
On foreign currency liberalization – “to get rid of Country’s archaic rules and use the financial Centre as
a tool of attracting remittances to Srilanka”
On withdrawal of vehicle permits – “affects only 3,000 – 4,000 people – why are people worried about
that? To safeguard interest of some in the past we were losing a large sum in revenue. Not only Public
Servants but MPs too lost it. These people were selling their permits and we were losing more revenue”.
On increased vehicle emission test charge –“ We have to run the country. The increase is not so great”
His justification on all above matters except on increased vehicle emission test charge is somewhat
acceptable to a certain extent.
His emission test increase justification 1 –“we have to run the country “is acceptable, but why didn’t he
directly increase the revenue license fees instead of fume test fees, so that the entire increase will go to
the Government. In this exercise how much increase service provider laughs and Akbars Companies
going to get is known only to them. This is where the importance of Right to Information Act (R2I) is felt
His emission test increase justification 2 –The increase is not so great. More than four hundred fold
increases, from Rs1, 200.00 to Rs5, 000.00 is not great? Yes, it is not great for people of his level, but this
increase is a big burden on ordinary middle class public.
Public expects a reasonable rate revision by the Government.