Speedy container clearance, hotline

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake with Central Bank Governor  Arjuna Mahendran. Picture by Gayan Pushpika.

 

The Finance Ministry has taken a decision to release all containers in the Colombo Port in less than three days if their are no investigations into them.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said if there are investigations they should be completed in five days and the shipment should be released in less than eight days.

Speaking at a special press conference at the Ministry of Finance he said that a special 24 hour hot line 0112470945 has been opened specially for this purpose.

Speaking on the down grading by some of the world rating agencies, he said that some agencies have different opinions and this is not something to be taken seriously. He said that Sri Lanka's economy is moving in the right direction and up to now 38 foreign dignitaries have visited Sri Lanka and expressed their solidarity.

Asked to comment on the Bank of Ceylon branch in Seychelles he said an investigation in ongoing and he sees no reason for a bank to be opened to service around 5 to 6 customers.

Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said that despite the the decline in imports, the fiscal deficit of Sri Lanka reached US$ 8.4 billion in 2015, 1.7 percent higher than the previous year. "The export revenues reached USD 10.5 billion in 2015, 5.6 percent lower than the previous period."

He said the gross official reserve by the end of December 2015 was USD 7.29 billion, which shows a decrease, when compared to the USD 8.21 billion registered by the end of 2014. 

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