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Sri Lanka’s foreign employment bureau to deposit Rs 50 mn in newly introduced remittance deposit accounts

WITHDRAWAL -Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunewardena announcing that Sri Lanka was withdrawing from the cosponsorship of Resolution 40/ MFR handout photo

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) will introduce a remittance deposit account for migrant workers seeking foreign employment, with the state contributing Rs 50 million in total for some 50,000 applicants.

The SLBFE will open an account for every applicant looking to leave the country for overseas employment and make an initial deposit of USD 5, with an additional USD 5 to be deposited by a number of commercial banks the bureau wishes to partner with for the project.

A press release from the SLBFE said its board of directors have endorsed the project, which was proposed by Minister Foreign Relations, Skills Development, Employment and Labor Relations Dinesh Gunawardena. The project is to be launched today in view of the International Day of Family Remittances as declared by the United Nations, which falls on June 16 (today).

The main objective of the programme, according to the bureau, is to encourage workers to save a monthly amount between USD 20 and USD 100 by crediting their monthly wages to this account. State security for the foreign exchange earned is guaranteed, the statement said.

The SLBFE also expects to increase the country’s foreign exchange reserves by increasing the amount of foreign exchange legally received by the country.

The programme, which is to be launched initially as a pilot project, expects to attract about 50,000 migrant workers seeking to leave for foreign employment. The bureau expects to get the assistance of registered foreign employment agencies for this purpose, it added. (Colombo/June16/2020)

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