In his budget 2016 speech, finance minister Ravi Karunanayake said permits for MPs and top state officers to import vehicles on concessionary terms will be suspended.
However, prior to his statement, a cabinet paper had already been submitted to allow MPs to import vehicles, reports say.
When asked about this, parliamentary affairs ministry secretary Vajira Narampanawa said such a cabinet paper had been submitted, but could not say whether it had been approved.
A top official in the cabinet staff said the paper in question had not been discussed at the request of the finance minister, who had said a new method would be introduced through the budget in place of the vehicle permit method.
A deputy minister said there was agreement to grant MPs with vehicle import permits under a new method.
Attempts to contact finance minister Karunanayake, state minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena and ministry secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga for comments were unsuccessful.