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Friday March 1st, 2024

Sri Lanka Cabinet in process to grant monetary incentives to discourage undiyal

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is considering monetary incentives for migrant workers to discourage informal money transaction such as undiyal as many Sri Lankan expatriates are still not ready to use formal banking channels, Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said.

Sri Lanka’s foreign remittances have fallen 53.1 percent in the first five month of this year compared to the same period in 2021 to 1.34 billion US dollars as many expatriates are either keeping their foreign earnings with them in foreign currency or send via undiyal due to higher rate compared to official bank rate.

Some expatriates are not sending money because they have lost the confidence in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s government amid corruption allegations, government officials have said.

“Mostly expatriate Sri Lankans in the Middle East use the undiyal method to send money back to Sri Lanka,” Gunawardena told the weekly cabinet media briefing on Tuesday (05).

“Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara will submit cabinet proposal to provide some monetary incentives to those expatriates who sends money through banking channels.”

“This cannot be stopped at once. We urge expatriates to send your foreign remittances through banks as every cent of it will be used on importing crude oil, fertilizer, gas, essential items, essential commodities, medicines and that money cannot be stolen by anybody. It has to be recorded in international remittances.”

Sri Lanka central bank has taken strong steps to prevent undiyal citing that it was used for money laundering by drug smugglers and dealers.

However, undiyal dealers have some how have been able to continue the informal transaction as there is a strong demand because it offers 15-20 rupees higher than the official bank rate, market officials say.

The central bank’s steps to prevent undiyal transactions so far have failed to control the informal transactions. (Colombo/July 05/2022)

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  1. Bandu says:

    People, in general, believe the ruling politicians conceal the facts and deceive them by misleading obvious issues. They know that people won’t trust them until they start to raise their hands and tell ‘these are the crimes against citizens we, our partners, parents, children and friends committed knowing they are crimes. We will pay for each in kind. Please punish us. We will never show up in public offices, ever’.
    That is the only way the newly awaken generation responds to change their mindset to help to build the country. They have had enough pretences. Enough is enough.

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Bandu says:

    People, in general, believe the ruling politicians conceal the facts and deceive them by misleading obvious issues. They know that people won’t trust them until they start to raise their hands and tell ‘these are the crimes against citizens we, our partners, parents, children and friends committed knowing they are crimes. We will pay for each in kind. Please punish us. We will never show up in public offices, ever’.
    That is the only way the newly awaken generation responds to change their mindset to help to build the country. They have had enough pretences. Enough is enough.

Sri Lanka’s RAMIS online tax collection system “not operatable”: IT Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s online tax collection system RAMIS is “not operatable”, and the Ministry of Information Technology is ready to do for an independent audit to find the shortcomings, State IT Minister Kanaka Herath said.

The Revenue Administration Management Information System (RAMIS) was introduced to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) when the island nation signed for its 16th International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme in 2016.

However, trade unions at the IRD protested the move, claiming that the system was malfunctioning despite billions being spent for it amid allegations that the new system was reducing the direct contacts between taxpayers and the IRD to reduce corruption.

The RAMIS had to be stopped after taxpayers faced massive penalties because of blunders made by heads of the IT division, computer operators and system errors at the IRD, government officials have said.

“The whole of Sri Lanka admits RAMIS is a failure. The annual fee is very high for that. This should be told in public,” Herath told reporters at a media briefing in Colombo on Thursday (29)

“In future, we want all the ministries to get the guidelines from our ministry when they go for ERP (Enterprise resource planning).”

President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government said the RAMIS system will be operational from December last year.

However, the failure has delayed some tax collection which could have been paid via online.

“It is not under our ministry. It is under the finance ministry. We have no involvement with it, but still, it is not operatable,” Herath said.

“So, there are so many issues going on and I have no idea what the technical part of it. We can carry out an independent audit to find out the shortcomings of the software.”

Finance Ministry officials say IRD employees and trade unions had been resisting the RAMIS because it prevents direct interactions with taxpayers and possible bribes for defaulting or under paying taxes.

The crisis-hit island nation is struggling to boost its revenue in line with the target it has committed to the IMF in return for a 3 billion-dollar extended fund facility. (Colombo/Feb 29/2024) 

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Sri Lanka aims to boost SME with Sancharaka Udawa tourism expo

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is hosting Sancharaka Udawa, a tourism industry exhibition which will bring together businesses ranging from hotels to travel agents and airlines, and will allow the small and medium sector build links with the rest of the industry, officials said.

There will be over 250 exhibitors, with the annual event held for the 11th time expected to draw around 10,000 visitors, the organizers said.

“SMEs play a big role, from homestays to under three-star categories,” Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman, Chalaka Gajabahu told reporters.

“It is very important that we develop those markets as well.”

The Sancharaka Udawa fair comes as the Indian Ocean island is experiencing a tourism revival.

Sri Lanka had welcomed 191,000 tourists up to February 25, compared to 107,639 in February 2023.

“We have been hitting back-to-back double centuries,” Gajabahu said. “January was over 200,000.”

The exhibition to be held on May 17-18, is organized by the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators.

It aims to establish a networking platform for small and medium sized service providers within the industry including the smallest sector.

“Homestays have been increasingly popular in areas such as Ella, Down South, Knuckles and Kandy,” SLAITO President, Nishad Wijethunga, said.

In the northern Jaffna peninsula, both domestic and international tourism was helping hotels.

A representative of the Northern Province Tourism Sector said that the Northern Province has 170 hotels, all of which have 60-70 percent occupancy.

Further, domestic airlines from Colombo to Palali and the inter-city train have been popular with local and international visitors, especially Indian tourists. (Colombo/Feb29/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes at 309.50/70 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 309.50/70 to the US dollar Thursday, from 310.00/15 on Wednesday, dealers said.

Bond yields were slightly higher.

A bond maturing on 01.02.2026 closed at 10.50/70 percent down from 10.60/80 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.90/12.10 percent from 11.90/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 12.20/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2029 closed at 12.30/45 percent up from 12.20/50 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 12.35/50 percent up from 12.25/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 12.55/13.00 percent up from 12.50/90 percent. (Colombo/Feb29/2024)

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