The Central Bank yesterday announced that it has decided to further relax the foreign exchange regulations to facilitate international financial transactions.
The Bank said in a statement that Sri Lanka's macroeconomic fundamentals have improved during the past few years and the domestic financial sector has become stronger and more resilient.
"In that background, foreign exchange regulations have been reviewed and relaxed gradually with the objectives of achieving greater efficiency in the conduct of international financial transactions and further facilitating economic activity of the private sector through greater ease of doing business thus enhancing the overall competitiveness of the economy," the statement said.
New relaxation measures will be implemented with effect from 12th June 2013.
Under the new regulations, NRFC/RFC account holders can transfer their funds from the existing account to open a new NRFC/RFC account at a different authorized dealer without first obtaining the permission of the Controller.
Rules have been relaxed for all categories of Foreign Exchange Earners Accounts (FEEA) holders to obtain foreign currency loans from banks. Earlier the banks were allowed to provide such loans to only a limited category of holders such as exporters.
In another measure to encourage investments in immovable property, non-residents will be permitted to repatriate both capital and capital gains from the sale of their immovable property into Sri Lanka through international banking channels.
Foreign exchange for travel had been raised from US$ 2,500 to US$ 5,000 dollars and on migration each individual family member above age 18 will be allowed to take up to US$ 150,000 instead of a 'family unit', the Central Bank said.
The Central Bank has also allowed Licensed Finance Companies (LFCs) which are rated at a credit rating of A- or above by the Central Bank specified credit rating agencies, to open and maintain foreign currency deposit accounts for their customers.
Sri Lankan dual citizens or Sri Lankan holders of permanent residency permits issued by foreign Governments will be permitted to maintain bank accounts outside Sri Lanka, without obtaining prior permission from the Exchange Control Department.
Read the full statement at: http://www.cbsl.gov.lk/pics_n_docs/latest_news/press_20130612ea.pdf