Central Bank permits remittances to Sri Lankans stranded abroad

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) clarified today that its recent measures to ease pressure on the exchange rate do not place any restrictions on remittances/payments for current transactions including overseas educational, medical and family living expenses of Sri Lankans living or stranded abroad.

If they are stranded abroad amidst the prevailing global pandemic situation their families in Sri Lanka are can send money to them to meet living expenses/up keep.

This applies to Sri Lankans who have gone abroad for short visits for leisure and holidays, to meet relatives and friends, on pilgrimage, for business purposes, training, seminars and conferences, medical treatments, sports, recreational and cultural activities, etc., and on student or equivalent visas.

“Family members residing in Sri Lanka are permitted to send money from Sri Lanka to persons who have gone abroad for studies or for medical purposes, being university/tuition/training/ course fees, living expenses, medical charges or as any related fees, etc., through an Authorized Dealer (AD) in foreign exchange (any Licensed Commercial Bank or a permitted Licensed Specialized Bank) upon submitting relevant documentary evidence as usually required by ADs.”

It added that such persons can also use their credit, debit (ATM) and foreign travel cards issued to them by ADs for payments or cash withdrawals or to obtain cash advances in foreign currency during their stay abroad in respect of transactions of personal nature.

“CBSL wishes to reiterate that there is no hindrance to provide any additional financial assistance to above mentioned categories of Sri Lankans currently abroad, to meet their basic needs at this time of difficulty. However, we request all concerned parties to make use of this opportunity in a responsible manner,”

The Central Bank recently introduced a slew of measures to ease the pressure on the exchange rate, such as reducing the maximum limit of foreign currency notes issued for travel purposes and restrictions on outward remittances on capital transactions.