Sri Lankan workers overseas sends more money home in November
Sri Lankan worker remittances revenue continued its ascent in November for the third month in succession reflecting end of the poor run of the key foreign currency inflow, helping the dollar-starved country to fund its essential imports
Labour and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara expressed his gratitude to every expatriate worker who has sent money through the banking system legally.
He said that all Sri Lankans need the support of expatriate workers at this time, with the country facing a foreign exchange shortage.
The foreign remittances are moving closer to a US$5bn in annual rate based on November monthly data. Sri Lanka remittances for the month of November totaled US$384mn, up about 10 percent from the prior months figure.
Before the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, the country used to receive over US$7bn per year in foreign remittance. This figure had dropped in half to an annualized rate of approximately US$3.5bn during the worst of the crisis.
Sri Lankans have been lining up in droves to migrate overseas for job opportunities that will allow them to earn foreign currency based salaries.
As record numbers of migrants of around 200,000 depart Sri Lanka raising expectations of rising foreign currency remittances in the medium term in future.
This, coupled with a tourism industry recovery and stable global oil price will be key to Sri Lanka’s economic recovery.
Sri Lanka’s workers’ remittance increased to US$ 384.4 million in November 2022, according to the Central Bank.
Accordingly, the cumulative figure for the first eleven months of the year (Jan – Nov) is reported as $ 3,313.9 million,
Sri Lanka had observed an increase of 12% in workers’ remittances in October 2022 compared to the inflows recorded in October 2021.
Figures released by the Central Bank (CBSL) showed that workers’ remittances had increased to $ 355.4 million in October 2022 from$317.4 million in September 2022
Sri Lanka’s officially calculated worker remittances grew 1.73 percent from a year earlier to$359.3 million in September 2022, official data showed. Official remittances were also up from $325.4 million in August.
Sri Lanka received around $446 million s in remittances in August 2021, when the central bank tightened rules on how much banks could pay for remittances.
Overseas workers send money through unofficial channels when central banks in the region print money creating pressure on outflows and then imposes exchange controls, triggering parallel exchange rates.