Tuesday, September 27, 2022

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Motor Traffic Department revenue collection drops significantly

The motor vehicle regulator has suffered a setback in its revenue collections following the adverse impacts of the COVID pandemic and the ongoing economic crisis.

As a top agency that generates revenue for the Government, the Department of Motor Traffic’s monthly contribution to the Treasury has dropped by 40 percent at present given the multiple challenges. It has dropped by 40% to Rs600 million this year from the average of Rs.1 billion.

The Motor Traffic Commissioner (Control) Susantha Jayathilaka said that this was due to the decline in the registration of new vehicles.The registration of used vehicles has also drop down due to the increase in bank interest rates.

.“Following the adverse impacts of the pandemic and the ongoing economic crisis, the Department’s average daily income has dropped to around Rs. 35 million to Rs. 40 million,” Department of Motor Traffic Accountant Aravinda Samarakoon told journalists.

Closure of the department at the early stages of the COVID outbreak, import restrictions on motor vehicles, and high interest rates imposed on the transfer of vehicle ownership were outlined as key reasons for the revenue drop.

As per the Department, the total number of new vehicles registered up to May was 10,159, and of that 3,358 were motorcycles, whilst 2,694 were LV tractors and 1,653 LV trailers.

However, he said that the income generation of the Department has slowly picked up, as it had adopted digital payment systems and technology to boost efficiency.

Department of Motor Traffic Commissioner (Control) Susantha Jayathilaka also said they are short of driving license cards.

“The import restrictions impacted the issuance of new license cards and renewals as these cards are imported. However, to avoid any inconvenience to the motorists, at present we issue a document till the cards are sorted,” he explained.

Jayathilake also said the Department continues to operate a self-financing institution that manages the salaries and wages and maintenances of systems.

The Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) yesterday introduced card payments to boost revenue collection and enhance efficiencies.

It said that all payments related to the Department could be made via debit or credit cards at its head office in Narahenpita and branch office in Werahera.

“Modern youth often make payments using a credit or debit card as they have embraced new technologies faster and to avoid the disadvantage of carrying cash.

Initially, the card payments will only be accepted at Narahenpita and Werahera, but after the observations, we will put into practice at other regional offices,” Department of Motor Traffic Commissioner (Control) Susantha Jayathilaka told journalists.

He said the objective is to boost Department’s contribution to Government coffers via the introduction of cost-effective systems, and an increased number of transactions, whilst providing an efficient and satisfactory service to motorists.

“We are a self-financed organisation and had continued to reinvest our collections to further upgrade our service offerings via digitalisation. The introduction of card payments is also one of them,” Jayathilake added.

Department of Motor Traffic Commissioner (Development) Kasalani de Silva said the organisation strives to provide registration services, technical services, issuances of licenses, and assist develop policies.

The Department of Motor Traffic is the Government regulator for registering motor vehicles and issuing driving licenses according to the Motor Traffic Act.

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