Worker Remittances Halve in September

By Mario Andree | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 23 2021
FT Worker Remittances Halve in September

By Mario Andree 

Sri Lanka’s largest foreign exchange earner, Worker Remittances declined 9.3 per cent during the first nine months of this year, as migrant workers almost halved their sending’s home due to the current situation. According to data released by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, during the first nine months of this year migrant workers sent home US$ 4.58 billion, down 9.3 per cent compared to US$ 5.1 billion sent home during the corresponding period of last year. Worker Remittances, which showed promise until May this year, declined for the fourth consecutive month in September this 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 of 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 sent a year ago. In July this year, migrant workers sent home US$ 453.3million, down 35.4 per cent compared to US$ 702.1million sent 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 sent a year ago. In April this year, migrant workers sent home US$ 518 million, up 38.1 percent compared to 375 million a year earlier. In March this year, migrant workers sent home US$ 612 million, up 24.4 percent compared to US$ 492 million sent a year ago. In February this year, migrant workers sent home US$ 579.7 million, up 10 percent compared to US$ 527.3 million sent a year ago.

In January this year, migrant workers sent home US$ 675.3 million, up 16 percent compared to US$ 581 million sent a year ago. Last year, worker remittances to Sri Lanka improved 5.8 percent 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 Oct 23 2021

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