Regulator for automobile service sector soon | Daily News

Regulator for automobile service sector soon

SLASPA ready to modify vehicles for re-export to African market:
Amal Piyatilake
Amal Piyatilake

There are neither provisions nor any institute to look after and regulate the automobile service industry in Sri Lanka at the moment alleged Automobile Service Providers Association (SLASPA) President Amal Piyatilake.

He said they took up the matter four years ago with the Ministry of Transport requesting to restructure the technical section of the Motor Traffic Department in order to set up a regulatory mechanism for the regulating of the automobile service sector and the process has almost come to end and the new regulations would be submitted for Cabinet approval soon. This would enable the government to earn a huge amount of revenue from the automobile service and repair sector and also prevent the brain drain of mechanics to particularly Australia and New Zealand. He said they have also sought permission to modify vehicles under a license scheme and if that materializes they could import left-hand vehicles from Korea and China and convert them into right-hand drive vehicles and re-export them to the African market.

Piyatilake said there is only one assistant commissioner- technical to oversee all these regulatory aspects at the Department of Motor Traffic and they have suggested decentralizing the process to all 9 provisions by enlisting nine additional commissioners to regulate automobile repairs and service centers island wide.

He said SLASPA according to the Motor Traffic Act comes under the Motor Traffic Department and according to the Act there is a provision for regulating the automobile service sector which did not happen. Piyatilake said that is why the automobile industry has lagged behind and it is only in Sri Lanka that vehicles are imported and sold sans manufacturing, value addition or export. He said what has gone wrong is there are no provisions and institutes to look after the industry.

SLASPA has 18 sectors including mechanical workshops, alignments, service centers, body shops, cushion shops, electrical shops and many more. Piyatilake said they plan to enter into a new era by building its capacity, indulging in a severe membership drive and bringing members of all 18 under one umbrella and educating them. The industry which spans for over 10 decades is yet not properly organized and regulated and has no parents nor bodies or government institutes to regulate it, he said. Piyatilake said garage number plates belong to garages but now they were used by vehicle sales people.

He said garage number plates were originally assigned to mechanical workshops.

SLASPA meanwhile moved into a new office in Kirulapone and put up a dedicated team to make the industry a recognized industry in 5 years which provided more job opportunities and make a bigger contribution to the GDP by manufacturing automobiles in Sri Lanka.

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