The duty free allowance given to expatriate workers at the airport increased from May 01

Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara, today said that duty free allowance given to expatriate workers at the airport will be increased from May 01. He said a circular in this regard was issued.

The Minister was addressing the media at the Government Information Department.

Earlier a memorandum presented by the Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara, to the cabinet of ministers seeking their approval to increase the duty free allowance given to expatriate workers at the airport was approved. Accordingly the Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment has issued the relevant circular.
According to this circular, expatriate workers who legally send money to Sri Lanka through the banking system are eligible to receive an increased duty free allowance. The amount of money sent through the banking system since the first of May last year will be taken into account and this concession will be given under five categories.

Workers who have sent between USD 2400-4799 will get an additional duty free allowance of 600 USD and workers who have remitted between USD 4,800 – $7,199 will get an additional allowance of USD 960. Workers who have sent between USD 7,200 – USD 11,999 will receive an additional duty free allowance of USD 1,440. Expatriate workers who have remitted between USD 12,000 – USD 23,999 can get a USD 2,400 and workers who have sent USD 24,000 or more can get an additional USD 4,800 duty free allowance.

The Minister speaking further said;

It is very important to direct the workers for foreign jobs and it is equally important to bring the money they earn to the country through legal channels. We have worked hard for that in the past. At a time when the amount of remittances received from expatriate workers had dropped to 190 million dollars, when some went to other countries and told workers not to send money to the country and while some chose illegal methods such as undiyal to send money we implemented several measures to rectify these issues. After understanding how the people of our country were suffering, our expatriate workers once again started sending money to the country through the banking system. Several programmes were implemented to bring money to the country through safe and legal channels. Accordingly, an import license was introduced for migrant workers to import electric vehicles. We have also arranged to provide duty concessions to expatriate workers. Accordingly, the circular was issued yesterday to increase the duty free allowance for expatriate workers at the airport.
Accordingly, the increase in duty free allowance for expatriate workers at the airport will be implemented from the first of May. The facility is available through an App operated by the Central Bank. By registering through this App, it is possible to get the additional duty free allowance based on the amount of dollars sent to the country.

Also, last week, Cabinet approval was obtained to introduce a low interest loan system for expatriate workers. Accordingly, expatriate workers can get loan facilities up to two million rupees. Also, the President presented his observations to the Cabinet and informed the Cabinet that a programme should be implemented for the workers who have returned to this country after working abroad.

Some time back, expatriate workers were called heroes of our country. Then during the Corona period, they were treated as human bombs. False information were circulated that expatriate workers returning to the country will put the country in peril during the covid pandemic. They were mistreated and embezzled during quarantine.
In this backdrop the initiatives taken by the new government gave the expatriate workers new hope and the foreign remittances started flowing again through legal channels.

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