Colombo: Sri Lanka has allowed underage women to go abroad for employment in order to increase its foreign exchange reserves.
According to international media reports, due to the economic crisis, Sri Lanka has allowed young women to work abroad, which could lead to an increase in foreign exchange reserves.
Sri Lanka on Tuesday lowered the working age for women abroad to 21 years.
It may be recalled that in 2013, the Sri Lankan government had issued orders that only women above the age of 23 could go abroad for employment.
However, in view of the severe economic difficulties facing Sri Lanka, conditions regarding the age of women have been relaxed.
Government spokesman Bandola Gunawardena told reporters that the cabinet had decided to raise the minimum age for employment in any foreign country to 21 years.
It may be recalled that Sri Lankans working in other countries are a major source of foreign exchange, sending ڈالر 7 billion in remittances annually.
Remittances to Sri Lanka fell to 5. 5.4 billion in 2021 after the coronavirus, while further declines are expected due to the recent economic crisis, which could fall below 3.5 3.5 billion.
With a population of 22 million, Sri Lanka’s 1.6 million citizens go abroad for employment, most of them in the Middle East.
Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has been fueled by declining foreign exchange reserves, with the government banning imports of fuel, medicine and foodstuffs.