State Minister of Finance Dr. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says that the value of the rupee increased due to the exceptional controls carried out by the government.
At the same time, the special growth of the tourism industry also led to this, the minister points out.
Sri Lanka received $437 million in remittances in January.
The minister indicated that it is a growth of 68% compared to January of last year.
Foreign reserves have also increased to $2.2 billion.
The minister said this yesterday (08) while presenting several excise duty notices and import and export regulations for the approval of the parliament.
State Minister for Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says that licenses have been issued to 211 places under the soft liquor licensing program which is being implemented with the aim of promoting tourism.
The minister said that this program, which was started based on the two points of control and tax revenue for the government, is being carried out successfully.
According to a report released by the World Health Organization, the alcohol industry has increased by 95% from 2004 to 2016.
Of this, the legal liquor industry has grown by 50%. The report shows that the growth of illegal alcohol production is about 300%.
There are about 2800 licensed liquor stores in Sri Lanka. There is also an informal placement of these outlets.
For example, in some parts of the north and east, there is no sale of alcohol until about 80 km.
This results in the prevalence of illegal alcohol.
In the year 2022, 67,964,160 kg of wheat flour has been imported.
The cost for this is 30 million dollars.
Divided by the population of the country, about three kilograms of wheat flour has been consumed annually.
“At this time, when we are facing a problem of selling rice, it would be the most valuable step that can be taken at this time to convert one of the three kilograms of this flour into rice if possible.
“According to the reports of the Department of Census and Statistics, we have got a good harvest, so stop the import of rice except for the rice required for the tourism industry.”
In 2020, we have imported 5,735 metric tons of rice.
With the decrease in production, 135,476 metric tons of rice had to be imported in 2021, increasing the number of arrivals by 2261%.
By 2022, it had to be raised again to 733,385 metric tons.
As of today, the import of this rice has been completely suspended.
It is expected that there will be a harvest of 2.4 million metric tons in this season.
“We are trying to buy 85,000 metric tons of rice by spending 10 billion rupees and distribute it to the families ” the minister added.