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Sri Lanka to raise duty-free allowance for migrant workers to encourage remittance

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Colombo: Sri Lanka is set to increase duty-free allowances for migrant workers at the airport starting May in order to encourage remittance, Minister of Labor and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara said on Monday.

The increase will be based on the amount of money remitted by the workers, Nanayakkara said during a media briefing.

Under the new scheme, there will be five categories of concessions.

For people having remitted 2,400-4,799, 4,800-7,199, 7,200-11,999, 12,000-23,999 and 24,000 U.S. dollars or more, they will be eligible for an additional duty-free allowance of 600, 960, 1,440, 2,400, and 4,800 U.S. dollars, respectively, when shopping at the airport, according to the minister.

The concessions will be available to anyone who has sent the mentioned amount of money through official channels to the country within a year, the minister said.

He added that no tax will be charged on foreign worker remittances and money held in banks in the form of foreign exchange.

Migrant workers’ remittance is one of the main sources of foreign exchange for the South Asian country.

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