In his statement, the MP claims that (a) foreign remittances increased in first months of 2021 in comparison to 2020, (b) the decline in remittances started in June 2021, and (c) remittances in January 2022 had decreased by 62% in comparison to January 2021 figures.
To check the MP’s claims, FactCheck.lk consulted data presented by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s (CBSL) External Statistics and Economic Indicators. At the time of writing this fact check the 2021 December and 2022 January figures are provisional.
On the first claim, Exhibit 1 shows that in the first five months of 2021 recorded remittances increased by USD 439 million compared to 2020. This is very close to the figure cited by the MP.
On the second claim, Exhibit 1 shows that the year-on-year comparison of remittances: the first it registers a reduction is June 2021 (-16.4%), as claimed by the MP, and it remains lower than 2020 in every subsequent month.
On the third claim, remittances in January 2022 were recorded at USD 259.20 million, which was a 61.6% reduction from the USD 675.34 million recorded in January 2021.
The above analysis shows all the data relating to the increase and decrease in remittances as being in line with the MP’s statement. Therefore, we classify the MP’s claim as TRUE.
*FactCheck.lk’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, FactCheck.lk will revisit the assessment.
Exhibit 1: The year-on-year comparation of the worker remittances from 2020 to 2021 (USD million)
Source: External Sector Statistics, Central Bank of Sri Lanka
Workers Remittances (2009 January to Latest) External Sector Statistics, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Available at; https://www.cbsl.gov.lk/en/statistics/statistical-tables/external-sector [ Last accessed 25 March 2022]
Monthly Economic Indicators, January 2022, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Available at; https://www.cbsl.gov.lk/sites/default/files/cbslweb_documents/statistics/mei/MEI_202201_e.pdf [Last accessed 25 March 2022]
Weekly Economic Indicators, 18th March 2022, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Available at; https://www.cbsl.gov.lk/sites/default/files/cbslweb_documents/statistics/wei/WEI_20220318_e.pdf [Last accessed 25 March 2022]