Saturday, July 20, 2024

Sri Lanka grants over 100 EV import permits to migrant workers

Sri Lanka’s Labour and Foreign Employment Ministry said on Sunday that it has granted 111 electric vehicle (EV) import permits under a new programme designed to facilitate Sri Lankan migrant workers in remitting foreign exchange to the country through official and legal channels.

Appearing on TV, Labour and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara emphasised that this initiative is part of several measures introduced by the Ministry to benefit migrant workers who send the foreign exchange to Sri Lanka via authorised remittance transfer banks or agencies.

Since May 2022, the Ministry has been issuing EV import permits to eligible migrant workers as part of these benefits, Nanayakkara said.

The scheme allows the importing of electric cars, motorcycles, and scooters, depending on the amount of foreign exchange the workers send, Xinhua news agency reported.

He added that the first round of permit applications will remain open until the end of September and that only fully electric vehicles are eligible for importing under this programme.

Nanayakkara also highlighted the substantial increase in remittances from migrant workers in 2023, which amounted to $2.3 billion in January-May, with an average monthly rate of more than $400 million.

This figure represents a significant rise compared to the corresponding period in the previous year, he said.

Sri Lanka banned the import of most vehicles in 2020.

Workers’ remittances have been a key pillar of Sri Lanka’s foreign currency earnings, providing a substantial cushion against the trade deficit and thereby enhancing the resilience of the country’s external sector, according to the country’s central bank.



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