Govt. expects of over US $ 4 b gross official reserves by end December
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): The Government yesterday expressed confidence in boosting gross official reserves to over $ 4 billion by end 2023 with the receipt of $ 780 million so far in December.
The country took various initiatives, including securing a swap facility from the People’s Bank of China equivalent to approximately $1.4 billion.
Additionally, Sri Lanka encouraged its expatriates to remit their funds through formal channels, actively promoting this practice, apart from encouraging tourism, another key source of the island nation’s forex income, which slid during Covid years.
The Finance Ministry said following the completion of the First Review under the 48-month Extended Fund Facility (EFF) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Government received the second tranche under the EFF, amounting to $ 337 million on 14 December 2023.
Subsequently, multilateral development banks also disbursed the tranches earmarked under several program financing channels.
Accordingly, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released a total of $ 200 million on 15 December 2023 for Financial Sector Stability and Reforms Program.
Further, the World Bank released the second tranche of $ 250 million under Sri Lanka Resilience, Stability and Economic Turnaround (RESET) Development Policy Operation (DPO) on 20 December 2023.
The Finance Ministry said the Government has collectively received foreign exchange inflows of over $ 780 million during December 2023 and such inflows will further strengthen budget support and cushion Government’s gross financing needs in the period ahead.
“These notable inflows of foreign exchange to the Government will reinforce external buffers of the country. The gross official reserves are expected to surpass over $ 4 billion by the end of 2023, a level higher than anticipated earlier,” Finance Ministry said.
It said this significant foreign financing support by International Financial Institutions vouch for the satisfactory progress made by the Government of Sri Lanka on the implementation of the economic reform agenda.
“The Government remains committed to achieving sustainable economic recovery and ensuring public debt sustainability that will accrue benefits to the people in the period ahead,” the Finance Ministry added.
Authorities in Sri Lanka also encouraged migration and implemented measures over the past six months to boost both the outflow of people and the inflow of remittances.
Data from the Immigration Department reveals that in the first half of 2022, the government issued around 396,600 passports, surpassing the total issued in the entire 2021.
Also, Sri Lanka reduced the minimum age for women to work overseas to 21 and eliminated the requirement for female migrant domestic workers to submit a family background report.