Sri Lanka asked exporters, expats to bring dollars back to the Island: Promised a higher interest rate

June 01, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake urged all Sri Lankan exporters and expatriates to bring their money back to the country and promised the government will pay a higher interest rate, above the foreign banking and financial institutions.

“We will not have to go after foreign Bond issues if these funds could be brought back into the economy,” Karunanayake said at a recent press conference held in Colombo.

“We will guarantee that we will provide the same interest rate that we pay for the Bonds. Thus, I humbly request Sri Lankan exporters to bring back their money back to Sri Lanka.”

He said approximately 15 billion US dollars can be brought in to the country through this process from about two million, Sri Lankans working abroad.

“We will reward you for what you are keeping outside the country illegally,” Karunanayake said.

“We are a friendly Government and we want to help our exporters, from SMEs to large-scale businesses. Hence I call up on them to bring that money back where it belongs.”

In 2014 worker remittances input for the national economy was seven billion dollars.

However, Sri Lanka’s banking regulator has issued a circular to banks exporters with packing credit facilities who do not use export proceeds to settle the accommodations after 90 days will be charged a 5 percent penal interest and then 2 percent for every month for every month they delay.

This will effective from June 01, 2015.