Remittances Halve for the Second Consecutive Month

By Mario Andree | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 29 2021

By Mario Andree 

Sri Lanka’s largest foreign exchange earner, Worker Remittances, declined 13.8 per cent during the first ten months of this year, as migrant workers almost halved their remittances for the second consecutive month in October due to the current situation. According to data released by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, during the first ten months of this year migrant workers sent home US$ 4.9 billion, down 13.8 per cent compared to US$ 5.68 billion sent home during the corresponding period of last year. 

Worker Remittances, which showed promise until May this year, declined for the fifth consecutive month in October this year. In October this year, migrant workers only sent home US$ 317.4 million, down 49.6 per cent compared to US$ 630.7 million sent home during the corresponding month of last year. In September this year, migrant workers only sent home US$ 353.2 million, down 49.2 per cent compared to US$ 702.7 million sent home during the corresponding month last year. In August this year, migrant workers sent home US$ 446.6 million, down 32.8 per cent compared to US$ 664.5 million a year ago. 

In July this year, they sent home US$ 453.3 million, down 35.4 per cent compared to US$ 702.1 million a year ago. In June this year, migrant workers sent home US$ 478.4million, down 16.4 per cent compared to US$ 572.5 million sent a year ago. In May this year, migrant workers sent home US$ 460 million, up 6.7 percent compared to US$ 431 million a year ago. In April this year, migrant workers sent home US$ 518 million, up 38.1 per cent compared to 375 million a year earlier. 

In March this year, migrant workers sent home US$ 612 million, up 24.4 per cent compared to US$ 492 million sent a year ago. In February this year, migrant workers sent home US$ 579.7 million, up 10 per cent compared to US$ 527.3 million a year ago. In January this year, they sent home US$ 675.3 million, up 16 per cent compared to US$ 581 million a year ago. Last year, worker remittances to Sri Lanka improved 5.8 per cent to US$ 7.1 billion from US$ 6.7 billion recorded in 2019. 

Worker remittances have been Sri Lanka’s largest foreign exchange earner and the country’s balance of payment has been highly dependent on the income generated by migrant workers. Last year, many Sri Lankans working overseas returned to the country following the COVID-19 pandemic, which shattered the global economy. The Government is yet in the process of repatriation for some still struggling to come back home. 

The sector is also one of the largest employment providers to address national unemployment and poverty issues prevailing in the country. However, Sri Lanka has been witnessing a declining trend in the number of departures for foreign employment over the last few years.

By Mario Andree | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 29 2021

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