The Sri Lankan Government is providing an amnesty to individuals who possess more than US$10,000 in their possession, which is a violation under current laws, urging people to invest these funds in banks.
While the amount that people are entitled to hold in their possession has been reduced to $10,000 from $15,000, the Ministry of Finance said those holding funds above the legal limit can deposit the extra money into a Personal Foreign Currency Account or into a Business Foreign Currency Account or sell to a commercial bank.
The prescribed period for such transactions is 14 days (June 30) from the effective date of the order (June 16) and if this step is not taken (during the amnesty period), those holding over $10,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currency are liable for prosecution.
The ministry said in a media release that the move is to attract foreign currency in the hands of the public into the formal banking system. Sri Lanka is struggling with depleted foreign currency reserves and experiencing shortages in fuel, food and medicines.