Dr Bilesha Weeraratne Discusses Remittances on TV1’s Face the Nation

17 January 2022

Participating in the ‘Face the Nation’ live panel discussion telecast over TV1, IPS Research Fellow Dr Bilesha Weeraratne discussed the changes in Sri Lanka’s remittances during 2021. She emphasised that although remittances grew in December 2021 relative to November 2021 to reach USD 325mn from USD 271mn, it was still considerably low compared to December 2020, which exceeded USD 800mn. Significantly, remittances for December 2021 were the lowest recorded since 2009.

Dr Weeraratne pointed out that the reason for such a drastic decrease in remittances is the unrealistic foreign exchange rate that discourages the use of formal remittance channels. She further noted that in addition to floating the exchange rate, there are other methods of making formal channels more attractive to migrant workers such as providing flexible loan schemes.

Watch the full video here.