PM postpones ForEx Act implementation

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By 2017-10-18

By Mario Andree

The proposed implementation of the new Foreign Exchange Act, which passed in Parliament to replace the decade-old Exchange Control Act, has been postponed to 01 November this year.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, revoking his previous gazette notification through a new one issued Friday, said that the Act would come into effect on 01 November instead of 15 October this year.
The new law decriminalizes violations and allows money held abroad to be brought back easily.
According to the new Act, investigations started under the previous law will be concluded within six months from the new Act coming into effect, unless an extension of time is obtained.

The Act will allow up to US$ 1 million undeclared money held abroad to be brought into the country with no remittance fee or any other tax, surcharge, levy or penalty charged, while any exceeding amount would be liable to a remittance fee.
Earlier, State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne said the Government was to do away with the decade-old Exchange Control Act, moving into exchange management.

According to Wickramaratne, "It is a conceptual move away from the Government claiming ownership of the hard-earned foreign exchange of its exporters, to exporters being the owner."

"The Government was moving away from outward control to an incentive-based system for remittances brought into the country," he said.

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