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Govt. extends amnesty period to declare foreign currency

The Government has decided to further extend the amnesty period for individuals to deposit or sell the foreign currency in possession.

Previously, on several occasions from June, the Finance Ministry issued orders under Section 8 of the Foreign Exchange Act No. 12 of 2017 extending the amnesty period.

“The circular in this regard will be issued by the Finance Ministry in the next couple of days,” Cabinet Co-Spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardena said at the post-Cabinet meeting media briefing on Tuesday 02.

The Minister said accordingly, citizens will be able to change any acceptable foreign currency into rupees through a commercial bank adding that the know your customer (KYC) compliance will also not be applicable during the amnesty timeline.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Co-Spokesman Minister Manusha Nanayakkara said any amount of foreign currency even exceeding US $ 10,000 can be converted or deposited into a foreign currency account or a rupee account during the period.

The Minister insisted that during the period individuals will not be requested to submit any documentation to banks to prove the source of the funds.

He said the amnesty period will last for one month although the program was implemented last month as well.

On 16 June, the Central Bank amended limits and conditions on possession of foreign currency in the hands of the public into the formal banking system.

The Central Bank reduced the amount of foreign currency retained in possession by a person in, or resident in, Sri Lanka from $ 15,000 to $ 10,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currencies.

It also granted an amnesty period of 14 working days effective from the date of the Order (16 June 2022) for persons in, or resident in, Sri Lanka who hold foreign currency notes in possession.

Thereafter, on two occasions during last month it was further extended. The last extension was till July 26.

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