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Record Sri Lanka Inflation As Food Crisis Looms

Supermarkets have for months been rationing milk powder, sugar, lentils and different necessities.

Colombo, Sri Lanka:

Sri Lanka’s inflation hit a report 11.1 % in November, official figures confirmed Wednesday, as authorities warned a worsening financial disaster may immediate additional meals rationing.

The island’s tourism-dependent economic system was hammered by the pandemic and the federal government imposed a broad import ban to shore up overseas change reserves, triggering shortages of important items.

Supermarkets have for months been rationing milk powder, sugar, lentils and different necessities as industrial banks ran out of {dollars} to pay for imports. 

On Wednesday official information confirmed costs hovering at their quickest charge for the reason that National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) was launched in 2015, with meals costs up 17 % from a yr in the past.

Authorities might need to impose additional meals rations and search overseas assist to assist feed essentially the most needy, agriculture ministry secretary Udith Jayasinghe informed reporters.

“We may have to borrow grains such as corn from friendly countries and think of rationing food so that mothers and the sick can be fed,” he stated.

“Others may have to make sacrifices.”

But inside hours Jayasinghe was changed by one other official, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s workplace introduced, with out saying why he was sacked.

Food shortages have been worsened by the federal government’s ban on agrochemical imports, which was lifted final month after widespread crop failures and intense farmer protests.

Sri Lanka had overseas reserves of simply $1.58 billion on the finish of November, down from $7.5 billion when Rajapaksa took workplace in 2019.

The central financial institution has appealed for overseas forex — even free change that individuals might have after coming back from abroad journeys.

Earlier this week rankings company Fitch downgraded Sri Lanka as a result of mounting fears of a sovereign default on its $26 billion overseas debt. The authorities insisted it might meet its obligations.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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