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CB Governor on reverse gear relating to exporters stashing dollars overseas

Central Bank’s assertion of the hording of billions of dollars in overseas has become mere words with no credibility following its Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe’s statement in an interview in which he claimed that exporters are not keeping money overseas.

He was reported to have been affirmed that” exporters are not keeping money abroad “based on the data of the exports in September and October, and exporters have repatriated or brought 100% of export earnings into the banking system.

According to news reports relating to an interview given by Nandalal Werrasinghe on December 08 appeared in local media Nandalal Weerasinghe categorically stated “The CBSL investigations have confirmed that 25% of export proceedings in average have been directly converted to rupees by the exporters, and that the CBSL was looking into the remaining 25% of export proceedings.

He acknowledged, however, that this may be due to exporters utilizing these dollars for approved local purchases. These would include the purchase of both diesel from CPC and LIOC, and domestically produced raw materials which are required for the industry.

By disclosing these details he has bitten his own words and statements of deputies issued to media in the recent times.

According to these top bureaucrats, Sri Lanka is losing billions of dollars of much needed foreign exchange as a result of hoarding in earnings overseas by exporters without repatriating it going against the directive of the Central Bank,

This was the main mantra of Central Bank Governor and its deputy governors in the past few months in media conferences from time to time but not in a single such conference Central Bank Governor came out with this revelation, several banking and finance analysts said.

Deputy Governor Yvette Fernando recently disclosed at a media conference chaired by the governor that the country has received US$ 1450 million of export earning in October 2022 and, of it $1199 million dollars were hard goods and only $ 326 million dollars was converted.

It was less than 23 percent, Deputy Governor Yvette Fernando recently disclosed at a media conference adding that services sector earnings was $ 251 million

As per the available official data, if all the export earnings are repatriated and converted, the average monthly export foreign exchange flow would have been $ 985 million.

According to this statement 77 percent of the exporter’s foreign exchange earnings’ were missing or vanished into thin air.

The Central Bank some times back exposed that exporters are estimated to have hoarded nearly a staggering $ 3 billion in earnings overseas without repatriating last year.

The Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) asserts that its membership strictly abides by the Central Bank laws on repatriating export income, reiterating that the apparel sector brings back the entirety of its export proceeds to Sri Lanka.

The Governor also spoke of reconciling the exports of the top 100 exporting companies to establish both the direct conversion and the amounts paid in foreign currency to local suppliers

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