Remittances up 20.8% Jan-April
By Mario Andree
Sri Lanka’s largest foreign exchange earner, worker remittances, increased 20.8 per cent during the first four months of this year as migrant workers sent home US$ 2.38 billion compared to US$ 1.97 billion a year ago.
According to data released by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, in April this year, worker remittances accelerated for the tenth consecutive month since June last year. Worker remittances, measured in rupee terms, increased 27.3 per cent during the first four month of this year to Rs 464 billion from Rs 364 billion 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 the 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.