Sri Lanka: Is Finance Minister Turning Country into the Hub of Black Money?

First China & India, now the moneyed – What’s next?

(January 12, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The man who earned no reputation among the ordinary citizen, the Finance Minister of Sri Lanka, Ravi Karunanayake has said that foreigners investing a minimum amount of US$ 300,000 individually in Sri Lanka would be issued with two to five year Resident Visas.

He said the budget 2016 passed in Parliament included granting resident visas to foreign individuals who bring a large amount of foreign exchange into the country and added the cabinet has already approved the Special Deposits Account Act.

Political analysts say ‘offshore’ financing is a method of whitening of black money and these moneyed foreigners come in especially in order to take advantage of lower taxes or costs or less stringent regulations.

Recently, individuals and companies that had taken advantage of such facilities in Bermuda were revealed. Antigua,Bahamas and Costa Rica.are some such countries that have made whitening black money part of their economies.

Minister Karunanayake has said that the government has already received over 5000 applications of foreign nationals who have expressed their interest to invest in Sri Lanka.

The funniest part of whole drama is that, he has been selected as the Finance Minister of the Year for Asia-Pacific by the prestigious ‘The Banker’ magazine for his efforts to steer Sri Lanka into a new era of economic reform and a change of mindset.

According to a statement issued by his ministry, The Banker has said Karunanayake secured a $ 1.5 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan program that the country needed to avoid a balance of payments crisis, replenish reserves and rebuild confidence among international investors.


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