Budget 2021 contains a damning proposal: SL in line to become hub of money laundering – Rajitha

By Nabiya Vaffoor | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 25 2020

By Nabiya Vaffoor

The Budget 2021 contains a proposal which could in turn send Sri Lanka down the path of becoming a hub of money laundering, claimed the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Parliamentarian Dr. Rajitha Senaratne.

He was referring to the proposal which states that international investors can deposit any amount of money in Sri Lankan banks by showing an affidavit and paying one per cent tax.

“This can affect Sri Lanka’s reputation. Previously, there was a limit to the amount of money that can be brought into the country, such as USD 10,000 and in this case too there should be proper documents submitted that reveal the sources of that income. By discarding these limits, Sri Lanka might turn into a money laundering hub for racketeers who smuggle drugs, weapons, and women, whilst masquerading as investors. This procedure is against international laws,” he claimed.

He noted that the Financial Action Task Force once grey listed Sri Lanka during the regime of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, for such international dealings which violated the international rules of anti-money laundering. 

“The Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Treasury had to work for three years to get Sri Lanka removed from that list. This emphasizes how the economy is facing bankruptcy because this Government is attempting to follow such corrupted methods of seeking investors,” he lamented. 

Senaratne expressed these views, on 23 November, at a media briefing held at the SJB headquarters.

By Nabiya Vaffoor | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 25 2020

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