Tourist establishments invited to accept only foreign currencies

Registered tourist establishments have been instructed to only accept foreign currency for services rendered to persons residing outside Sri Lanka.

The instructions were issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka following a decision by the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

The Monetary Board decided to adopt several policy measures to strengthen macroeconomic stability.

As a result, the Monetary Board decided to order registered tourist establishments to accept foreign exchange only for services rendered to persons residing outside Sri Lanka.

It also decided to increase the Central Bank’s Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) by 50 basis points each, to 5.50% and 6.50 %, respectively.

The Monetary Council also decided to distribute the financing of essential import bills for fuel purchases among the approved banks in proportion to their foreign exchange inflows, to extend the payment of additional Rs. 8.00 per US dollar for paid worker remittances in addition to the incentive of Rs. 2.00 per US dollar offered under the “Worker Inward Remittance Incentive Scheme” up to as of April 30, 2022, reimburses the transaction cost incurred by Sri Lankan migrant workers through the payment of Rs. 1,000 per transaction, when depositing money into rupee accounts through licensed banks and other formal channels from 1 February 2022 and introduce higher interest rates for foreign currency and rupee denominated deposits of migrant workers.

The Monetary Board said the new measures would reduce the possible build-up of underlying demand pressures in the economy, which would also help ease pressures in the external sector, thereby promoting greater macroeconomic stability.

In line with this policy orientation, the Central Bank expects a corresponding increase in interest rates, especially deposit rates, thereby encouraging savings, while discouraging excessive consumption, which also fuels imports.

Therefore, financial institutions are urged to quickly pass on this increase to customer deposit rates.

In addition, the planned adjustment of market interest rates will facilitate the reduction of Central Bank Treasury Bill holdings through increased subscriptions in the market, as set out in the six-month roadmap to ensure stability. of the macroeconomic and financial system.

At the same time, the realization of expected foreign exchange inflows through bilateral agreements and other import financing agreements with friendly countries should ensure a healthy level of gross official reserves in the period ahead and further strengthen the sector. outside the economy. (Colombo Official Gazette)

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