Sri Lanka Rupee fell by over 2201% against US Dollar in a 41 year history from 1977-2018-September 20 2018
Sri Lanka’s Rupee has fallen by over 2201% against US Dollar in a 41 year history since the economy was opened to the globe in 1977, the analysts notes. Accordingly as at January 1st 1977 US Dollar exchange rate in terms of Sri Lankan Rupees stood at Rs. 7.27 levels whilst as at 19th September 2018 nearly 41 year history US Dollar had appreciated making Sri Lankans pay over Rs. 167.4125 (Central Bank announced Telegraphic Transfer Rate as 19 September 2018) for a US Dollar.
Having celebrated Sri Lanka’s 70th anniversary of independence in 2018 with much political rhetoric, it would be appropriate to look back the journey of the Sri Lankan Rupee (SLR) during the post-independence period according to experts.
That time the local currency had been known as Ceylon Rupee before the country became a Republic in 1972. Experts highlight that a country’s currency is a point of pride, seen essential to the identity of the nation, though it may not be so sacred as the national flag or the national anthem. Analysts points out that the domestic currency can also be treated as the mirror image of the economy showing its ups and downs.
“The stronger the currency, in terms of its purchasing power to exchange for goods and services as well as foreign currencies, the stronger the economy” and market experts highlight that going by the above yardsticks, it is doubtful whether we can be proud of the destiny of our Sri Lankan currency.
In a 70 year history since Independence, according to an analysis the Sri Lankan Rupee is down by as much as 4,942.5% or by 49 times vis-à-vis US dollar from Rs. 3.32 per US Dollar ($) in 1948 to latest rate of Rs. 167.4125 per US Dollar ($). Inversely, 1 Ceylon rupee was equal to US $ 0.30 in 1948. This means that US cents 30 could buy one Ceylon rupee at independence. Today, a meagre US cents 0.0059 is sufficient to buy one Sri Lankan Rupee.
“If the local currency is the mirror image of the economy, the weakening of the Rupee by such magnitude is a reflection of the economic downfall of Sri Lanka” an analyst said adding that the Sri Lankan Rupee’s value is shrinking rapidly against the US Dollar.