Colombo [Sri Lanka], June 25 (ANI): Amid the looming economic crisis, Sri Lanka on Saturday limited the amount of foreign currency an individual can hold to USD 10,000.
Sri Lanka's central bank amended limit on foreign currency possession from 15,000 US dollars to 10,000 to attract foreign currency into the formal banking system, reported Daily Mirror Online.
An amnesty period of 14 working days effective from June 16 is granted for persons holding foreign currency notes, during which they can deposit them into a foreign currency account or sell them to an authorized dealer, according to the central bank.
At the end of the amnesty period, the central bank said, it will initiate actions against anyone who violates the order, in terms of the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Act, reported Xinhua.
Sri Lanka has been facing crippling foreign currency shortages, which has made it hard to import essential items.
Meanwhile, a team of high delegations representing the US Department of the Treasury and the US Department of State will be visiting Sri Lanka on Sunday.
Members of the delegation included Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Asia Robert Kaproth and Ambassador Kelly Keiderling, who is also the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Daily Mirror reported.
The visitors will meet with various political representatives, economists, and international organizations, the US embassy said in a statement.
According to the statement, during their meetings, they will explore the most effective ways for the US to support Sri Lankans in need.
"This visit underscores our ongoing commitment to the security and prosperity of the Sri Lankan people," said US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung adding "As Sri Lankans endure some of the greatest economic challenges in their history, our efforts to support economic growth and strengthen democratic institutions have never been more critical."Over the past two weeks, the U.S. has announced USD 120 million in new financing for Sri Lankan small and medium-sized businesses, a USD 27 million contribution to the island country's dairy industry and USD 5.75 million in humanitarian assistance to help those hit hardest by the economic crisis.
The United States also committed USD 6 million in new grants to provide livelihood assistance to vulnerable populations, and technical assistance on financial reform that will help stabilize the economy.
In the coming months, the US will continue to support Sri Lankans as they revive their economy, combat food insecurity, and promote public health and education.
The United States also strongly supports Sri Lanka's decision to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund, which can provide the most durable resolution to the present crisis, the statement added.
Due to an acute shortage of foreign exchange, Sri Lanka recently defaulted on the entirety of its foreign debt amounting to about USD 51 billion. (ANI)