Export revenue exceeds imports for the first time in SL

10 July 2020 01:17 am - 30     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has briefed the cabinet on Wednesday on the success of the economic fundamentals adopted to face the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and said Sri Lanka’s exports revenue had overtaken the imports revenue for the first time since the open economy was introduced in 1977, Cabinet spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardana said yesterday.

In June, Sri Lanka’s exports revenue has topped US$ 1,020 million while US$ 961 million has been spent on imports, saving US$ 59 million after four decades, Minister Gunawardana told the media at the weekly cabinet news briefing.

“The government has been able to achieve this success after the imposition of import restrictions imposed soon after Gotabaya Rajapaksa assumed presidency in November last year. The Rajapaksa government clamped down on the import of food items, fruits, vegetables, spices and other commodities which can be produced locally. You may recall how the Yahapalana Government issued permits to import kites, Vesak lanterns, candles, toys, spices, pepper and even cashew with no concern at all on the unrestricted draining of foreign reserves,” Minister Gunawardana stressed.

Uncontrolled imports had contributed to the rapid depreciation of the rupee against the dollar under the Yahapalana Government and as a result, the rupee devalued against the dollar to Rs.180 by 2020 from Rs.131 in 2014, he added.

Minister Gunawardana said one of the main objective of import restriction was to increase foreign reserves and thereby appreciate the value of the rupee against the dollar.

President Rajapaksa is of the view that restriction of non essential or highly luxurious imports has begun to pay dividends. Despite the global recession brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, Sri Lanka has been able to keep the rupee around Rs. 180 against the dollar and make more exports than imports. This will appreciate the rupee against the dollar and contribute to bring down the cost of living,” Minister Gunawardana emphasized. (Sandun A Jayasekera)

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  Comments - 30

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  • Got to give credit where it’s due Friday, 10 July 2020 06:30 AM

    Congrats to the prez and government

    M AZMATH BUHAR Friday, 10 July 2020 06:45 AM

    This is not a government strategy this is happening because the imports gone to toss there is no imports

    Noname Friday, 10 July 2020 07:20 AM

    Great! Why did we never stop spending billions of dollars importing kites, lanterns and pepper before? This has nothing to do with fall in global oil prices and reduced imports due to economic downturn. All hail the economic magic of new administration.

    DillonDP Friday, 10 July 2020 07:36 AM

    Uhhhh are you serious in 2 months... common

    Saman Friday, 10 July 2020 07:44 AM

    You forget to mention here due to new currency printed, SL rupee fall down against US Dollar 200 right.

    Roshan rodney Friday, 10 July 2020 08:08 AM

    People had no purchasing power during Feb,- June and the demand for imports dropped..what nonsense is he uttering

    Jayampathi Friday, 10 July 2020 08:09 AM

    It was less than Rs, 100/- in 2004.

    jimbo Friday, 10 July 2020 08:13 AM

    Too true to believe.

    Doc Friday, 10 July 2020 08:25 AM

    Dan 69 laksheta Sapada???only UNP and Ranil can put money in to pockets ,give free wifi ,chewing gum ,bracelets and store paddy in a 209million USD brand new airport and make us like singapore like he proved during his 5 times as prime minister...

    Econ-mutt Friday, 10 July 2020 08:25 AM

    $ 59 m saved. Can we have a raise in our salaries as this saving can be continued and increased!!!

    Exporter Friday, 10 July 2020 08:28 AM

    Basil says $ 950 m on exports!!!

    Sri Wickrema Friday, 10 July 2020 08:39 AM

    This is not an optimum economic situation. When the Govt banned the most of imports ultimate result is low expenditure on imports. Any one who has a head over his shoulder can understand this simple logic . Now they claim it is a big success. This Dr is a genius to hoodwink common people.

    Maqs Friday, 10 July 2020 08:43 AM

    Very difficult to understand. The new govt took over in Dec '19. The country was in lock-down for 3 months. Not much of trading happened during this period. To prepare the accounts, it may take quite some time. In other words, is this the achievement of this govt or the previous govt, if the facts are correct. These politicians always take us for a ride thinking all the people in the country are FOOLS

    Truth Friday, 10 July 2020 08:52 AM

    That means lot of people are starving. No work, No income, no purchasing.

    Andrew Silva Friday, 10 July 2020 09:02 AM

    Import restrictions is good as long as we manufacture and grow what we need. Every one should be encouraged specially to grow their own food. Example should begin from the high ups and the politicians.

    Sokrates Friday, 10 July 2020 09:03 AM

    The success is attributable to exporters and not to the government. However, the government is still putting bureaucratic hurdles in the way. About 20 or more different documents from various departments are required, which can take up to 3 months before you can export. Expired documents must be extended continuously. Large companies employ a man especially for these matters who is fully occupied. A further increase in exports can be achieved by letting the rupee float freely on the world market, where it is worthless anyway. Now the rupee rate is being artificially held up by the Central Bank constantly selling dollars on the world market (at present about every 10 days) that are urgently needed for other things. More dollars are used for this than for imports.

    CITIZEN Friday, 10 July 2020 09:08 AM

    OTHER COUNTRIES ARE NOT EXPORTING ANYTHING FOR US TO IMPORT AT THE MOMENT SO THIS HAPPENS WE HAVE OPENED SO WE ARE EXPORTING THATS IT. EXAGGERATING AS USUAL.

    Dee Friday, 10 July 2020 09:11 AM

    Not rocket science neh? When restrictions are put in place and the country is taken backwards.

    FF Friday, 10 July 2020 09:16 AM

    IMPORTS WERE RESTRICTED BECAUSE PEOPLE HAD NO INCOME SO MONEY. BUSINESSES WERE CLOSED SO NO REVENUE. THAT WAS THE MAIN REASON TO REDUCE IMPORTS.

    Former student Friday, 10 July 2020 09:33 AM

    Absolute rubbish to mislead the public before the elections. My former economic s master has lost all credibility for forgetting basic trading and economic theory. I feel sorry for him.

    K.L Pathirana Friday, 10 July 2020 09:45 AM

    Does anyone recall the Gazette issued about two months or so back, limiting imports ? As a result of that we now have more exports than imports, it has nothing to do with GDP or the growth of our economy.

    punchi bands herath Friday, 10 July 2020 09:45 AM

    looks like anti Rajapaksha,so are active when something positive for the country is in the news. These are the most negative and stupidest people in the world. They select some to run the country and then blame him for each coconut fallen on to the ground

    Any booruwo Friday, 10 July 2020 10:13 AM

    this is only because imports have been stopped. By the way, by what percentage have exports dropped?

    Confused Friday, 10 July 2020 10:36 AM

    Lies, Damn lies, and statistics in that order, can fool the foolish.

    Lumbini Friday, 10 July 2020 10:51 AM

    Why not stop all imports so you can have 100% export revenue? Very sad Bandula.

    Bhavan Friday, 10 July 2020 11:36 AM

    This was not because of the boost in export but reducing imports due to Covid-19 situation, can not be considered as a good indicator anyway.

    REEZ Friday, 10 July 2020 03:37 PM

    Maybe he is thinking we are fools.

    sss Friday, 10 July 2020 04:43 PM

    also remove dutyfree luxury imports by high rupee earning workers who contribute nothing to the economy

    Antony Jude Friday, 10 July 2020 06:30 PM

    Credits should go the previous government as many export orders were received during UNP government and executed under present government.

    Warren Raed Friday, 10 July 2020 06:31 PM

    This is a huge lie. It is fake news. How is it that the buying power of the people so less then?


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