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Friday August 12th, 2022

Duty, EV allowances to Sri Lanka’s migrant workers who remit via official channels

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal to provide an additional duty concession and electric vehicle import allowance to migrant workers based on the amount they remit to the country through official channels, Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara said.

The proposal was presented in accordance with recommendations by a committee that was appointed to find ways to encourage migrant worker remittances into the country.

Minister Nanayakkara said that, until now, the duty concession allowed at the duty free lounge at Sri Lanka’s international airports was not applicable to the remittances sent by the migrant workers.

“Those concessions will remain the same as we introduce an additional concession for the migrant workers who send money through legal channels,” Nanayakkara said at the weekly cabinet briefing on Tuesday August 02.

“According to the earlier system, the duty concession allowance was as follows; if you were returning in under 90 days, then it was 187.50 US dollars. If it was 90 to 365 days then 625 dollars, and if it was more than 365 days you would get 1,650 dollars as the allowance.”

Nanayakkara said it  was for anyone who went abroad and it was not categorised as remittance senders.

Keeping these allowances as it is, Nanayakkara said, migrant workers who send at least 2,400 dollars will be added to a category called Silver.

“If they are coming back in under 90 days, their allowance will be increased to 787 dollars. If it is between 90 and 365 days, the allowance will be increased to 1,225 dollars and if it is after more than 365 days, the allowance will be increased to 2,350 dollars,” he said.

Accordingly, if the amount of remittances sent was 4,800 dollars, allowances will be increased, for fewer than 90 days to 1,175 dollars, between 90 and 365 days to 1,585 dollars and for more than 365 days up to 2,710 dollars.

If the migrant worker has sent more than 7,200 dollars it will be increased to 1,627 dollars, 2,065 dollars and 3,190 dollars according to the number of days.

“Another category called Gold Plus is for migrant workers who send more than 12,000 dollars within a year. They will get allowances of up to 2,587 dollars, 3,025 dollars and 4,150 dollars as allowances at the duty free.

“If they have sent more than 24,000 dollars within a year, allowances will be as 4,985 dollars, 5,425 dollars and 6,550 dollars according to the number of days.”

Nanayakkara said migrant workers will be grouped into categories through the banking system.

Apart from the duty concessions allowance, the cabinet has also approved a decision to allow migrant workers to import vehicles up to a maximum value of 65,000 US dollars.

Sri Lanka banned importing vehicles in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic in order to control foreign exchange outflow of the country.

“We have introduced a special package for migrant workers,” said Nanayakkara.

Migrant workers who send more than 3,000 dollars and less than 20,000 dollars, permission will be given to import electric two-wheelers for half the value that will be sent as remittances.

Nanayakkara said threewheelers will not be permitted to import considering the number of threewheelers already in the country.

Those who send more than 20,000 USD within a year may purchase an electric car for the the value of the remitted amount up to a maximum of 65,000 dollars.

“It should be within 300-500 cc,” said Nanayakkara.

However, electric vehicles thus purchased cannot be charged using the national grid, said Nanayakkara.

“They will have to purchase solar panels for this.

“They should be charged through an off-grid system. We are trying to achieve a few things through this. One is to control forex outflow, environmental protection, and conserving electricity,” he said.

This, too, was given the cabinet approval and it will be implemented in the coming days, he added.

Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena said circulars with details of the allowances and vehicle packages will be issued within the next week. (Colombo/Aug 02/2022)

Comments (2)

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  1. Francis Perera says:

    Why not allow the import of new Engines and Gear Boxes only for cars older than 10 years presently used in Sri Lanka funded by foreign exchange provided by relatives and friends abroad so that there will be no environmental pollution as they are new engines and further it will provide employment to technical hands in garages etc. mechanics , welders

  2. Mohamed Moiez says:

    All these are bullshit. Arrange us a bank loan to build our houses.

View all comments (2)

Comments (2)

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Francis Perera says:

    Why not allow the import of new Engines and Gear Boxes only for cars older than 10 years presently used in Sri Lanka funded by foreign exchange provided by relatives and friends abroad so that there will be no environmental pollution as they are new engines and further it will provide employment to technical hands in garages etc. mechanics , welders

  2. Mohamed Moiez says:

    All these are bullshit. Arrange us a bank loan to build our houses.

Sri Lanka cancels visa of Scotswoman who documented anti-govt protests

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Department of Immigration and Emigration has cancelled the visa of Kayleigh Fraser, a Scotswoman who had been documenting the country’s anti-government protests on social media.

Immigration officers had approached Fraser at her home on August 02 and confiscated her passport.

“This is what will happen if you raise your voice against state violence in Sri Lanka,” Fraser wrote on Wednesday August 10, posting a letter ordering her to leave the country by August 15.

“I am proud to have been a part of this. I am proud to have met so many of you. I have… so many social enterprises I want to work on here that I know will benefit so many,” Fraser said on Instagram.

“Deporting me is a massive, massive mistake for this country. The love I have for it and its people appears to be a threat to the current rulers. Does that sound right to you?”

Fraser posted that she was not prepared for the financial cost of flights and relocation, and that all her funds were in Sri Lankan currency, and that banks were not allowing foreign transactions.

Police spokesperson Nihal Thalduwa had told a privately owned news organisation that Fraser was sharing “negative content” about Sri Lanka via her social media.

“It is not right for a foreign national to be in our country and share such mass negative content. She is not a media personnel either, to cover the protests and GotaGoGama,” he has said.

Fraser has been vocal about state sanctioned violence against protestors.

News of Fraser’s deportation has caused a small riot on social media, with many protestors voicing out their support for the foreigner who documented and showed support next to them.

Seemingly indiscriminate arrests of protestors aided by an ongoing State of Emergency have both angered and frightened Sri Lankan protestors, and many active protestors have gone into hiding to evade arrest.

Some protestors said they were “taking a break” or “distancing themselves” due to continued harassment.

However, the authorities maintain that all arrests are in accordance with the law. The government has pointed to acts of retaliatory mob violence on May 09 and the forced occupation of government buildings by protestors on July 09.

“They are calling us terrorists for holding placards. This was such a peaceful protest, the only terrorism carried out was by the government against the people,” said an active protestor, who preferred not to be named.

Fraser wrote that Sri Lankans should not forget that they got to the streets for a system change.

“Live in such a way that your children will thank you for the world they inherit,” she said.

“It’s not over till it’s over. I have an unbelievable amount of high profile people fighting this order for me to leave.”(Colombo/Aug11/2022)



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Sri Lanka to acquire 35,000MT of petrol; unloading on Aug 12

ECONOMYNEXT-  Sri Lanka to receive a cargo of 35,000 metric tonns of petrol on Thursday August 11 with unloading scheduled for Friday, Minister of Power & Energy Kanchana Wijesekara said.

Wijesekara tweeted that the ship will arrive at the Colombo port Thursday night, and that the payment for the cargo had been completed with the support of the Central Bank by Wednesday.

The minister had said earlier on Wednesday that a separate cargo of crude oil is also expected on Saturday August 13, and from August 19 onwards, locally produced fuel is expected to be released to the market from the Sapugaskanda refinery.

Meanwhile, in an earlier report, Lanka IOC, a local unit of the Indian Oil Corporation (OIC), said a vessel carrying 30,000 metric tons of fuel for LIOC is scheduled to arrive between August 10 and 15.

Related: Three shipments of fuel to arrive in Sri Lanka by mid, end July, August: Lanka IOC

Meanwhile, Wijesekara said that 5.7 million people have signed up for the QR-code facilitated National Fuel Pass.

From July 21 up to now, Wijesekara said, a total of 54.9 million litres of fuel had been sold through 1,053 CPC fuel stations while 207 LIOC stations have sold 11.26 million litres of fuel. (Colombo/Aug11/2022)

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MPs nominated to Sri Lanka’s parliamentary committee on public finance

The sun sets over the Parliament at Shri Jayewardenepura

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s parliament has appointed members to its Committee on Public Finance, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said.

According to his announcement made in parliament on Wednesday August 10, in terms of the provisions of the Standing Order 121 of Parliament, MPs Bandula Gunawardana,  Vidura Wickramanayaka,  Nalin Fernando,  Anura Priyadharshana Yapa,  Vijitha Herath,  Duminda Dissanayake,  Shehan Semasinghe,  Premitha Bandara Tennakoon and Harsha de Silva have been appointed.

Indika Anuruddha Herath,  Siripala Gamalath, Seetha Arambepola, Suren Raghavan,  M A Sumanthiran,   Kavinda Heshan Jayawardhana,  Mujibur Rahuman,  Harshana Rajakaruna,  Chaminda Wijesiri,  Isuru Dodangoda,  Anupa Pasqual and  (Prof) Ranjith Bandara also have been appointed to serve as members in the Committee on Public Finance.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe tabled a proposed framework during his time as Prime Minister under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for sectoral oversight committees in parliament with the objective of increased bipartisan parliamentary involvement in governance and policy-making.

Wickremesinghe told parliament on July 06 that under such a system, the entire parliament irrespective of party difference will participate in governance.

On July 06, he said he had approached former Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayauriya to formulate a proposal on activating the sectoral oversight committees.

Sectoral Oversight Committees shall function for the duration of Parliament and conduct its inquiries notwithstanding any adjournment or prorogation of Parliament, according to the parliament website.

The Committee of Selection shall determine the subjects and functions to be allocated to each Sectoral Oversight Committee.

The Sectoral Oversight Committees shall have the power to examine any Bill, any subsidiary legislation including Regulation, Resolution, Treaty, Report or any other matter relating to subjects and functions within their jurisdiction.

The Parliament, any Committee or a Minister may refer any matter to a Sectoral Oversight Committee having jurisdiction over the subject or function for its consideration and report. (Colombo/Aug11/2022)


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