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About Us

What is the Central Bank of Sri Lanka?

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka is the apex institution in the financial sector in Sri Lanka. It was established in 1950 under the Monetary Law Act No. 58 of 1949 (MLA) as a semi-autonomous body and is governed by a five member Monetary Board.

What is the Monetary Board?
  The Central Bank has a unique legal structure in which the Central Bank is not an incorporated body. In terms of the Monetary Law Act, the corporate status is conferred on the Monetary Board, which is vested with all powers, functions and duties. As the governing body, the Monetary Board is responsible for making all policy decisions related to the management, operation and administration of the Central Bank.

Who are on the Monetary Board and how are they appointed?


The Monetary Board of the Central Bank consists of five (5) members 

1 The Governor
2 The Secretary to the Ministry of Finance ( ex-officio )
3 Three (3) non - executive members

The Governor is the Chairman of the Monetary Board and also functions as the Chief Executive Officer of the Central Bank. The Governor and the non-executive Board members are appointed by the President, on the recommendation of the Minister of Finance. The approval of the Constitutional Council is also required for the appointment of the non-executive Board members. The term of office of the Governor and the non -executive Board members is six (6) years. The quorum for Monetary Board meetings is three (3) members. The concurrence of three (3) members is required for decisions of the Monetary Board to be valid. However in cases where a unanimous decision is required, the concurrence of all five (5) members is necessary.


Who has the authority to issue currency notes and coins in Sri Lanka?
  The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has the sole authority to issue currency notes and coins in Sri Lanka under section 49 of the Monetary Law Act No. 58 of 1949
What denominations of currency notes and coins are in circulation today?
  The denominations of currency notes in circulation today are Rs. 5000/=, 2000/=, 1000/=, 500/=, 200/=, 100/=, 50/=, 20/=, 10/=, 5/=, 2/=, 1/= (At present Rs. 10/=, 5/=, 2/= and Re.1/= notes have been replaced with coins.) and coins in circulation are Rs. 10/=, 5/=, 2/=, Re. 1/=, cents. =/50, =/25, =/10, =/05, =/02, =/01.
What is the quantity of the currency notes in circulation now?
  As at 30th October 2017, approximately 1,052 million pieces of currency notes were in circulation amounting to a value of Rs. 562.54 billion, and 5,258 million pieces of coins were in circulation amounting to a value of Rs. 11.91 billion.
What are the most common/highly circulated currency notes?
  The most highly circulated denominations of the currency note in circulation are Rs. 20/= and Rs. 100/= . As at 30th October 2017, 285.5 million pieces of Rs. 20/= and 212.3 million pieces of Rs. 100/= notes were in circulation.
How are currency notes and coins issued in to circulation?
  The main channel is Licensed Commercial Banks (LCBs), When LCBs request currency notes and coins from the CBSL for their transactions, currency notes and coins are issued in denominations requested by them.  These currency notes and coins are added to circulation through the transactions with their customers.
What are the specifications of the latest coins minted and issued in circulation?
  They are as follows: -
Specification Re.1 Rs.2 Rs.5 Rs.10

Diameter (mm)





Thickness (mm)









Eleven lobed

Year on Coin





Metal / Alloy

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Obverse Side

Armorial Ensign

Armorial Ensign

Armorial Ensign

Armorial Ensign

Reverse Side

Value, Country Name and Year

Value, Country Name and Year

Value, Country Name and Year

Value, Country Name and Year

What is special in paper used for printing currency notes?
  The paper for currency notes is made out of 100 percent cotton pulp, which gives a rough and firm texture.  However, the Rs. 200 commemorative note is made of Polymer.
Who prints currency notes and mints coins for Sri Lanka?
  Currency notes have been printed by the De La Rue Lanka Currency & Security Print (Pvt) Ltd, Biyagama, Sri Lanka.  

The latest coins issued for circulation have been minted by the Mincovna Kremnica, Slovakia.

  The supplier(s) for Minting and Supplying of circulation coins for the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is selected through an international tender process.
What is a counterfeit currency?

Currency notes and coins issued into circulation by any person or establishment other than the CBSL are considered counterfeit currency.

  For more details please visit: http://www.cbsl.gov.lk/htm/english/06_cm/c_2.html#2
How do you distinguish between a counterfeit note and a genuine currency note?

All the currency notes issued by the CBSL have high security features designed to combat counterfeiting. The main security features that can be observed in a currency note are:

  • Security Thread
  • Watermark
  • See through feature
  • Intaglio (Raised) printing
  • Texture of the note
  • Micro lettering
Cornerstones- watermark
  Look for the features can be seen to the naked eye and micro features and other special features by using specific equipment. Always check several security features. Do not rely on one feature. If you have any doubt, compare the suspected note with what you know for certain that is genuine.
What should I do, if I have received a counterfeit currency note?
  Counterfeit currency notes should not be used as means of payment.  The use of counterfeit notes deliberately for transactions is a serious crime that is punishable by imprisonment and/or payment of a fine. Even the possession of a counterfeit note is an offence.  If a person detects a counterfeit note, he/she should refuse to accept it.  A person, who has already accepted such a note, should try to remember how he/she might have obtained it and immediately inform the Currency Counterfeit Bureau of Criminal Investigation Deopartment (CID) of of the Sri Lanka Police; Hotline : 0112422176 or 0112326670  and act  on their advice or inform the nearest Police Station.
What is an unfit note?

A genuine currency note that has become worn out, badly soiled, disfigured with writing, sustained minor damage while in circulation or willfully mutilated, altered or defaced, can be considered as unfit note.
There are three kinds of unfit notes: -
Unserviceable notes, Damaged/Mutilated Notes and Willfully Mutilated, Altered or Defaced notes.

“Unserviceable Note”
Currency notes that have become dirty, worn out/badly soiled while in circulation but not mutilated.

“Damaged/Mutilated Note”
Currency note which has been reduced in its original size due to wear and tear, damaged, defaced, burnt, decomposed, shredded, torn, and where security features, date on note, serial number and signature are tampered with, by accident or by various natural disasters is categorized as a damaged/mutilated note.

Willfully Mutilated, Altered or Defaced notes

Currency notes defaced with drawings, words, numbers, signs or symbols where the serial number, date, signature, value, or security feature of the currency note has been altered in any significant way.
Can I exchange unserviceable currency notes through LCBs?
Can I redeem damaged/mutilated currency notes through LCBs?

No. However, the LCB can accept damaged/mutilated currency notes for redemption or deposit and subsequently they can submit these notes to the Central Bank for examination/determination of their redemption value.

What do I do, if I receive a damaged/mutilated currency note?

Such currency note (burnt, decomposed, portions missing’ shredded or disfigured etc.) can be redeemed at the CBSL. In this case, follow the following guidelines for the preparation of damaged currency notes;

No. Nature of the damage Preparation required


Torn but not fully separated

Join tears with transparent adhesive tape on both sides of the currency note.


Torn into separate parts but all parts are available

Join separated parts with transparent adhesive tape on both sides of the currency note.

Position each part in a manner that approximates original appearance of the note.


Missing corners or portions of small area or small holes

Pasting of paper is not required


Missing a portion of substantial area

Paste a blank white paper that approximate the size of missing area at the reverse side of the mutilated note using transparent adhesive tape or an adhesive.

Ensure pasted mutilated note replicates the standard dimensions of the particular denomination of currency note.


Follow the relevant procedure for the particular currency note and sent by Registered Post to the CBSL at the following address for assessment and possible redemption.
Superintendent of Currency
Department of Currency,
Central Bank of Sri Lanka,
Janadhipathi Mawatha 
Colombo 1.

In addition, you can personally tender the unserviceable or damaged/mutilated currency notes to the CBSL Head office counter section between 9.00 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. Monday to Friday except holidays to:
Counter Section,
Level 4, 5th Tower,
Head office Building,
Central Bank of Sri Lanka,

Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 1.
Are damaged/mutilated currency notes worth the full face value?
  If the damaged/mutilated currency note consists of more than ¾ with two digits or more of the serial number with the serial prefix, the note is worth its full value. If the note is more than ½ but less than ¾ with a complete serial number, it is worth half its value.  However, determining the value of the currency note is at the discretion of the officer authorizing payment at Central Bank.
What does the CBSL do with unserviceable or damaged/mutilated and mutilated currency notes?
  The CBSL withdraws the unserviceable or damaged/mutilated currency notes from circulation and destroys them with shredding machines
Are there any regulations related to willful mutilation, alteration or defacement of currency notes?

Yes. In terms of Section no.58 of the Monetary Law Act, any person, who without the authority of the Monetary Board of the CBSL,

  • Cuts, perforates, or in other way whatsoever mutilates any currency notes;
  • Prints, stamps, or draws anything upon any currency note, or affixes any seal or stamp to upon any currency notes;
Attaches or affixes to or upon any currency note anything in the nature or form of an advertisement; shall be guilty of an offence.
Can I use coins for making jewellery or any other items?
  No. In term of the Monetary Law Act it is an offence to melt, break up, perforate, mutilate, or use otherwise than as legal tender, any coin which is legal tender in Sri Lanka.
Can I reproduce a currency note?
  No. According to section 58(d) of the Monetary Law Act reproduction of a currency note in any form such as photocopying, scanning, drawing etc, without the authority of the Monetary Board, is an offence.
Who decides and what are the factors considered in designing a currency note?
  The design, production and issue of currency notes are the responsibility of CBSL.  In deciding on the designs, the CBSL may consult the Government of Sri Lanka and also get suggestions from the general public. As per section 53 of the Monetary Law Act, the characteristics of currency notes have to be approved by the Minister of Finance.
From where can I obtain historical information on evolution of Sri Lanka currency?

The historical information of currency can be collected from the following museums and the publications.

i) The CBSL has established two museums at following places, where the historical information are available for the public
Economic History Museum,
Central Point Building,
54, Chatham Street,
Colombo 01.

Money Museum,
Regional Office,
Central Bank of Sri Lanka,
Stage I,

In addition to the above anybody can gather information from: 

National Museum,
Department of National Museum
Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha
Colombo 7 

ii) The following Publications of the CBSL will also help.
1."Sri Lanka Currency in Recent Times" - By Mr. T.M.U. Salley.
2."History of Coins and Currency in Sri Lanka" - By Mr. H.S.de Silva
3.“Hora Nottu Handuna Ganimu” in Sinhala Language (Detection of Counterfeit Notes)
          By Mr. Yasapala Perera 
(The above no.3 publication is available for sale at Communications Department of the CBSL)
 “Mudale Ithihasaya saha Sri Lanka Samaru Kasi” in Sinhala Language
(History of coins and currency and commemorative Coins of Sri Lanka) 
This publication is available at currency museums of the CBSL.
Other brochures and leaflets are available at the currency museums of the CBSL 


Monetary Policy

What is Monetary Policy?

Monetary policy is the process by which the central bank influences the cost (interest) and availability of money (money supply/liquidity) with a view to attaining price stability.


Who is responsible for the conduct of monetary policy?


In Sri Lanka, the authority responsible for the formulation and implementation of monetary policy is the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL). The Monetary Board is the monetary policy decision making body in Sri Lanka.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the CBSL, chaired by the Deputy Governor in-charge of price stability, is responsible for providing monetary policy recommendations to the Monetary Board. The primary function of the MPC is to evaluate emerging monetary and macroeconomic developments and make recommendations on the appropriate stance of monetary policy for the consideration of the Monetary Board.

What is the current monetary policy framework of the CBSL?

  At present, the CBSL conducts its monetary policy within an enhanced monetary policy framework. This framework, which is an interim arrangement until the CBSL moves to a flexible inflation targeting regime in the medium term, has features of both monetary targeting and flexible inflation targeting. The enhanced monetary policy framework attempts to maintain inflation at mid-single digit levels over the medium term, by directly influencing short-term interest rate (operating target) while the growth in broad money supply remains as an indicative intermediate target. 
What is flexible inflation targeting (FIT)?
  Under flexible inflation targeting, the CBSL will seek to stabilise inflation around the inflation target while minimising disturbance to the real economy. As announced in the Road Map: Monetary and Financial Sector Policies for 2017 and beyond, the CBSL will adopt a FIT framework in the medium term.
What are the instruments used by the CBSL to conduct its monetary policy? 
  The CBSL possesses a wide range of tools to be used as instruments of monetary policy.  The main instruments are the policy interest rates, open market operations (OMOs) and the statutory reserve ratio (SRR). In addition, bank rate, refinance facilities, quantitative restrictions on credit, ceilings on interest rates and moral suasion can also be used. The CBSL has the independence of choosing appropriate instruments to conduct monetary policy.
What are the policy interest rates used by the CBSL?
  Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) are the key policy interest rates of the CBSL. They were previously known as Repurchase rate and Reverse Repurchase rate, respectively.
SDFR is the floor rate (minimum rate) for the absorption of overnight excess liquidity from the banking system by the CBSL. With effect from 01 February 2014, the Standing Deposit Facility of the CBSL is uncollateralised.
Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) is the ceiling rate (maximum rate) for the injection of overnight liquidity to the banking system by the CBSL.
What is the standing rate corridor?
  SDFR and SLFR form the standing rate corridor is also known as the policy rate corridor. SDFR being the lower limit and SLFR being the upper limit. Changes in these floor rate and ceiling rate indicate changes in monetary policy stance of the CBSL. Standing rate corridor limits the possibility of large fluctuations in the short-term market interest rates and helps to maintain average weighted call money market rate at appropriate levels, which is the current operating target of the monetary policy.
What are Open Market Operations?
  Open Market Operations (OMOs) are the market based monetary policy operations conducted by the CBSL using acceptable securities to maintain market liquidity at appropriate levels in line with the monetary policy stance of the CBSL.  The CBSL can use government or government guaranteed securities and CBSL’s own securities for this purpose.
What is the role of Monetary Policy Consultative Committee?
  The Monetary Policy Consultative Committee (MPCC) provides views of the private sector on the monetary policy stance and macroeconomic developments to be used in monetary policy decision making process. The Committee consists of a cross section of stakeholders including professionals, academics and the private sector personnel so that the CBSL benefits from their expertise and experience.
What are the key monetary aggregates in Sri Lanka?

The main definitions of monetary aggregates used in Sri Lanka are as follows;
Reserve Money/Monetary Base Includes currency outstanding (currency held by the public and currency with commercial banks), commercial banks’ deposits with the CBSL and government agencies’ deposits with the CBSL.

Narrow money (M1) - Includes currency held by the public and demand deposits held by the public with commercial banks.

Broad money (M2) – Includes narrow money supply and time and savings deposits held by the public with commercial banks.

Broad money (M2b) – Includes narrow money supply, time and savings deposits held by the public with commercial banks and also includes a part of foreign currency deposits of commercial banks.

Broad Money (M4) - Includes broad money (M2b) supply and time and savings deposits held by the Licensed Specialised Banks and Licensed Finance Companies.
What is SLIBOR?
  SLIBOR stands for Sri Lanka Inter Bank Offered Rate. SLIBOR is an average of interest rates quoted by selected commercial banks that they are willing to offer funds for different maturities in the call money market. Based on these quotes, SLIBOR for one day, seven days, one month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months maturities are computed and published daily by the CBSL. SLIBOR is an indicative money market rate.
What is Average Weighted Call Money Rate (AWCMR)?
  AWCMR is a weighted average rate of interbank call money transactions, the overnight transactions among the banks and it serves as the operating target of the CBSL’s current enhanced monetary policy framework.
What is Average Weighted Lending Rate (AWLR)? / What is Average Weighted Prime Lending Rate (AWPR)?

The AWLR is calculated by the CBSL monthly based on interest rates of all outstanding loans and advances extended by commercial banks to the private sector.
The AWPR is calculated by the CBSL weekly based on commercial bank's lending rates offered to their prime customers during the week.

What is Average Weighted Deposit Rate (AWDR)? / What is Average Weighted Fixed Deposit Rate (AWFDR)?

The AWDR is calculated by the CBSL monthly based on the weighted average rates of all interest bearing deposits of commercial banks.
The AWFDR is also calculated monthly by the CBSL based on weighted average rates pertaining to all outstanding time deposits held with commercial banks.

What is Average Weighted New Deposit Rate (AWNDR)? / What is Average Weighted New Lending Rate (AWNLR)?

The AWNDR captures interest rates pertaining to all new interest bearing deposits placed with commercial banks during a month.

The AWNLR captures interest rates of all new loans and advances extended by commercial banks to the private sector during a month.

What is Legal/Market Rate of Interest?

The Legal rate is defined under the Civil Procedure Code (Amendment) Act No. 6 of 1990 and is applicable to any action for the recovery of a sum of money. The Market rate is defined under the Debt Recovery (Special Provisions) Act No. 2 of 1990 and applies only in relation to actions instituted by lending institutions for the recovery of debt exceeding Rs. 150,000 arising out of commercial transactions, where there is no agreed rate of interest.
The Market Rate and the Legal Rate for a year is computed in December considering the simple average of the monthly Average Weighted Deposit Rates (AWDR) of all commercial banks prevailed for preceding twelve months.


Financial Stability

What is financial system stability?
  Financial system stability can be defined as the ability of the financial system to perform smoothly its key functions such as intermediation of financial funds, management of risks, and settling of payments, efficiently, at all times, including in the event of adverse shocks and stress situations.  A stable financial system is one in which the financial institutions and markets and the payments system are functioning effectively and there is an absence of banking, currency, payments and settlements crises.
Why is the maintenance of financial system stability an objective of the Central Bank?
  A stable financial system is necessary, on one hand, for the effective transmission of monetary policy and the smooth operation of the payments system.  Financial instability, on the other hand, is expensive in terms of output losses and fiscal costs and will erode public confidence in the financial system.
How does the Central Bank maintain financial system stability?
  The Central Bank discharges its responsibility by establishing the required legal framework, regulating and supervising key financial markets, overseeing the payments and settlements system, acting as lender of last resort and by the surveillance of the entire financial system.

Government Debt Securities

What are the available debt securities issued by the government of Sri Lanka for foreign investors?

Four types of debt securities issued by the Government of Sri Lanka are available for foreign investors namely;

    • International Sovereign Bonds (ISBs)
    • Sri Lanka Development Bonds (SLDBs)
    • Treasury Bonds
    • Treasury Bills
Who are entitled to invest in the bonds called Sri Lankan Development Bonds (SLDBs) issued by the Government of Sri Lankan and what are the major characteristics of such bonds?

The Sri Lanka Development Bonds (SLDBs) are debt instruments denominated in US Dollars issued by the Government of Sri Lanka in terms of the Foreign Loans Act, No.29 of 1957. Repayment is guaranteed by the Government of Sri Lanka.

Only the following categories of persons are eligible to invest in SLDBs:

  • Authorised Dealers appointed in terms of Section 4 of the Exchange Control Act No. 24 of 1953.
  • Primary Dealers appointed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka under the Registered Stock and Securities Ordinance No. 7 of 1937 and the Local Treasury Bills Ordinance No. 8 of 1923.
  • Citizens of foreign states whether resident in Sri Lanka or outside Sri Lanka.
  • Citizens of Sri Lanka who have made their permanent abode outside Sri Lanka.
  • Citizens of Sri Lanka who have proceeded outside Sri Lanka to take up employment or to set up in business or in a profession.
  • Citizens of Sri Lanka who have dual citizenship provided that those citizens substantiate that their permanent place of abode is outside Sri Lanka.
  • Bodies corporate or unincorporate established under the laws of a country other than Sri Lanka.
  • Companies who have entered into agreements in terms of Section 17 of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka Act, No.4 of 1978 with full exemption from the provisions of the Exchange Control Act provided that all purchases of SLDBs are made against debits to foreign currency accounts maintained only for the purpose of crediting earnings from exports of such companies.
  • Companies registered to carry on insurance business in Sri Lanka under the provisions of the Regulation of Insurance Industry Act, No.43 of 2000 provided that all purchases of SLDBs are made against debits to Special Foreign Currency Accounts maintained with commercial banks in terms of the approval of the Controller of Exchange.
  • Holders of Non-Resident Foreign Currency (NRFC) Accounts, Resident Foreign Currency (RFC) Accounts, Resident Non-Nationals’ Foreign Currency (RNNFC) Accounts and Foreign Exchange Earners’ Accounts (FEEA).
  • Licensed Specialized Banks and Licensed Finance Companies who have been permitted to accept deposits in foreign currency.

Major characteristics of such bonds;

    • Interest Payments on Semi – annually
    • Minimum Investment is USD 10,000 & in multiples of USD 10,000
    • Investment currency is US Dollars
    • Available in fixed and flexible (plus six months London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR)) interest rates/coupon rates
    •  Issued through competitive bidding
    • Issued in scrip form
What are the marketable debt instruments issued by the Government of Sri Lanka for local investors?
  Treasury bills and Treasury bonds are the marketable debt instruments available for local investors.
How can local and foreign investors obtain the market details on debt securities issued by the government of Sri Lanka?
  Market details can be obtained from newspapers and this website.

Bank Communication

How do I purchase publications released by the CBSL?
  CBSL publications can be purchased from
1 Sales Counter at the Economic History Museum of the CBSL (Tel: 011 2444502)
2 Leading bookshops in the country
3 Regional Offices in Matale (Tel: 066 2223367), Anuradhapura(Tel: 025 2222055) , Matara (Tel: 041 2222774), Trincomalee (Tel: 026 2226966), Kilinochchi (Tel: 021 2285914) and Nuwaraeliya (Tel: 052 3059004)

How do I subscribe to Satahana?

  Readers can subscribe to Satahana (for one year or half year) by paying the subscription payment by money order or cheque in favour of Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
Subcribtions >>

How do I renew my subscriptions?


The subscriber can renew his/her subscription at the end of the term by paying the due amount for the desired period.


Does the CBSL give presentations to senior school students and teacher groups?


Yes. Under its educational programmes the Communications Department arranges for Lectures / Workshops / Seminars. If you wish to have such a presentation in your school, you can make a written request to the Director/Communications (Tel: 011 2477418). Subject to the availability of resource persons the Communications Department will oblige your request.

Opening hours of the Currency Museum?
  The Currency Museum is open to the public from 9.00 a.m to 5.00 p.m. on weekdays except for public and bank holidays.
Public Awareness Programmes
  The Central Bank, under its public awareness campaigns, takes part in educational and trade exhibitions organised by various ministries. The Currency Museum, EPF inquiries, exhibits on development projects conducted by the Regional Development Department of the Central Bank and a publication sales outlet are the main attractions at the CBSL stall.
The Communications Department also produces video documentaries to educate students on functions and responsibilities of the Central Bank and the public on various development activities and services rendered by the Bank.
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