Inflow of workers remittances has got off to a positive start in 2021 reflecting double digit growth.
As per provisional data from the Central Bank, inflow in January was $ 675.3 million up by 16.3% from a year earlier. In local currency it was valued at Rs. 128.6 billion up 22% from January last year.
Last year Sri Lanka received $ 7.1 billion in workers’ remittances, up by near 6% from 2019 in which year inflows were down by 4% to $ 6.7 billion.
December 2020 saw a record inflow of $ 813 million, reflecting a 22% year on year growth.
Despite the initial lag owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, flow of remittances from June 2020 improved year on year.
Sources said the high figure in 2020 amidst COVID-induced lockdowns and restrictions was partly attributed to remittances being channelled via official banking and financial sector as opposed to informal means such as the Hawala system, a popular and informal value transfer system based not on the movement of cash, or on telegraph or computer network wire transfers between banks, but instead on the performance and honour of a huge network of money brokers.