Wednesday, 10 March 2010

SRI LANKA: Migrant workers’ remittances increase by 14 percent: SLBFE

y Lakna Paranamanna

The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) stated that the foreign revenue generated by migrant workers had increased by 14 percent during 2009, in comparison to 2008.

In 2008, the total amount of foreign revenue generated through migrant workers was USD 2.9 billion. “Last year there has been a sharp increase and the total revenue has escalated to USD 3.3 billion,” said SLBFE Chairman Kingsley Ranawaka.

He asserted that this was a result of the salary increase for migrant female domestic workers, requested by the Sri Lankan Government. The Bureau issued a circular to this effect on January 1, 2008 and it was forwarded to all embassies. As a response to this circular, the Government of Saudi Arabia agreed to increase the wages of Sri Lankan migrant domestic workers by 60 percent.He said that following the steps that the SLBFE took to educate the migrant workers on matters such as financial management, making the NRFC accounts compulsory and encouraging them to sign service agreements were also reasons behind this significant increase in the foreign revenue generated through the migrant workers. During 2009, a total number of 247,119 workers had migrated for foreign employment purposes. Amongst them, 43,744 had migrated to Qatar and 42,400 had migrated to Kuwait.
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