Passport office works with banks to boost migrants’ international money transfers – The Island
by Sanath Nanayakkare
The People’s Bank, the National Savings Bank, the Sampath Bank, the Hatton National Bank and the Commercial Bank of Sri Lanka yesterday opened new bank counters at the Ministry of Immigration and Emigration in âSuhurupayaâ, Battaramulla.
The initiative aims to support the continuing efforts of the Central Bank to increase the country’s foreign exchange reserves by providing migrant workers with access to official and secure transfer channels from the time they obtain new passports or renew their passports. for international jobs.
Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, who was the main guest at the opening ceremony, said: âMany Sri Lankans go abroad to work and send their hard-earned money to Sri Lanka. . Sometimes they face various problems when paying money. So we thought we should offer them the option to open an account as they get their passports at the passport office, which they can use with more ease and confidence when sending mail. money to their families from abroad. The Immigration and Emigration Controller, his staff, officials from the Central Bank and other relevant banks worked in unison to establish their counters here in just one week. This shows that government institutions can collaborate with the private sector and quickly accomplish any task in the interest of the country and its people. Our hard-working migrant workforce will benefit from the convenience and reliability of this service. As a result, more foreign money will flow into the country and the nation will benefit from it, âhe said.
Workers’ remittances have been a key pillar of Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange earnings which account for nearly 100 percent of national value added, providing a substantial cushion for the resilience of the country’s external sector. Workers’ remittances have covered about 80 percent of the annual trade deficit over the past two decades, and the strengthening of remittances to the country brings several socio-economic benefits, including the regularity of foreign exchange flows to the system. formal banking.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has created a new department named âForeign Remittances Facilitation Departmentâ with effect from November 3, 2021 to facilitate and streamline workers’ remittances to the country.