Thukten Zangpo 

The finance ministry will review and renew the vehicle import quota usage affected by the import moratorium from August 19 this year on a case-to-case basis.

The notification from the ministry on October 11 stated that the validity of the vehicle import quota could be renewed with the ministry within the period of seven years or one-year time frame before the expiry.

“If the validity period has lapsed before the renewal, the ministry shall not renew the vehicle import quota,” it added.

The ministry stated that the amendment to the Vehicle Import Quota Rules 2019 is made in keeping with the macroeconomic situation of the country.

To protect the dwindling foreign currency reserve, the government suspended the import of vehicles from August 19 this year.

However, utility vehicles (costing less than Nu 1.5M or equivalent to USD 20,000), heavy earth-moving machines and agriculture machinery were allowed to import.

The ministry stated that the moratorium would be reviewed and amended in six months depending on the foreign currency reserve position.

As per Section 12 of the Vehicle Import Quota Rules 2019, the validity of the vehicle import quota shall be for seven years from the date of issue of the allotment letter issued by the ministry or one year from the date of separation from service.

Civil servants in P3 or SS2 and above, armed forces in the rank of major and above and the drangpons and drangpon ramjams of the judiciary in P3 or SS2 and above are eligible for the vehicle import quota.

Similarly, the term-based appointments (holders, members and commissioners of the constitutional office, cabinet secretary, government secretaries, central bank’s governor, attorney general, thrompons and gups of local government) would be eligible for the quota.

They are entitled to a tax-exempted vehicle import quota up to the ceiling of Nu 0.8 million (M) with an option to monetise amount of Nu 0.25M or 0.35M for the purchase of vehicles.

Cabinet ministers and equivalent position holders (Prime Minister, Speaker of the National Assembly, Chairperson of National Council, Opposition Leader, Chief Justice of Supreme Court and members of Parliament) would be eligible for a vehicle import quota free of customs duty and sales tax of 3,000cc or an option to monetise amount of Nu 1.5M per term.

However, the green tax is mandatory in both categories.

The government suspended the monetisation of vehicle quota as the pandemic hit the economy.