- Imports bill of $ 961 m in June dips below exports
- Restrictions on imports have helped curb expenditure
- Exports in June at $ 1.02 b almost on par with level achieved in June last year
- President informs Cabinet of favourable turn of events
- Govt. to continue policies to strength local industry
The cost of imports into the country have, for the first time in decades, dropped below export earnings in June 2020 leading to a rare trade surplus, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa informed the Cabinet this week.
In a detailed explanation to the Cabinet of Minister, the President said the import bill for the month of June was kept at $ 961 million, due to the restrictions on the import of non-essential goods into the country.
Export earnings for the month of June on the other hand picked up and was at $ 1020 million, which is almost on par with the export income a year earlier, which was $ 1084 million, and June 2018, which was $ 1024 million.
Co-Cabinet Spokesman Romesh Pathirana said that the favourable turnaround in economic indicators was due to Government policies aimed at strengthening local industry and reducing over dependence on imports.
“This Government is encouraging domestic industry and restricting imports and we can see favourable signs already, even though there has been a big impact on the economy due to COVID-19,” he told reporters at the weekly Cabinet press briefing. Since April this year, the Government has suspended the import of over 100 items deemed as non-essential.