The minister in his tweet claims a rise in worker remittances by Sri Lankan migrant workers in 2023 compared to 2022. To check this claim, FactCheck.lk consulted data on the flow of foreign remittances published by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL).
In public finance reporting, worker remittances are defined as “current transfers made by employees to residents of another economy.” (Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, Sixth Edition, International Monetary Fund).
CBSL data shows that worker remittances were USD 318.4 million in March 2022 and USD 568.3 million in March 2023, which is an increase of 78.5% (USD 249.9 million) from March last year. These are the figures cited by the MP. Exhibit 1 shows that there has been a sustained quarter-on-quarter increase in worker remittances, from the second quarter of 2022. The increase in worker remittances from the last quarter of 2022 to the first quarter of 2023 is 16.3%.
Overall, the minister cites accurate numbers on the worker remittances and correctly suggests a continued upward trend in worker remittances in 2023. Therefore, we classify his statement 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 – Quarterly % change of worker remittances in 2021 – 2023
Source: Workers’ Remittances Statistics, Central Bank of Sri Lanka
From the second quarter of 2021 worker remittances declined quarter on quarter, up to the first quarter of 2022. From the second quarter of 2022 worker remittances started increasing quarter on quarter, with the highest percentage increase shown in the last quarter of 2022.
Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, Sixth Edition, International Monetary Fund, Available at https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/bop/2007/pdf/bpm6.pdf [last accessed: 27 April 2022]
Workers’ Remittances Statistics, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Available at https://www.cbsl.gov.lk/en/workers-remittances/statistics[last accessed: 27 April 2022]