Sri Lanka’s Economic Crisis takes a turn for the worse

Share on:

Spruha Panda

As Sri Lankans endure day-long queues experiencing power outages, public indignation over the country’s greatest economic crisis grows.

Due to a severe shortage of foreign currency, Sri Lanka has been unable to pay for essential imports, resulting in severe shortages of everything starting from basic medication and pharmaceuticals to cement.

Long queues for petrol that begin to form before morning are venues for public concerns when neighbours vent their frustration about government mismanagement and worry about how to feed their families as food prices rise.

In an interview with AFP, Sagayarani, a housewife, said that she was compelled to wait for five hours to get her share of kerosene to cook food. Trucks and ports are unable to transport food and building materials to cities, nor can they carry back tea from the green inland hills of Sri Lanka. Further adding to these problems, buses that transport day laborers across the capital sit idle, some hospitals have halted regular surgeries, and examinations in schools have been postponed this month due to the unavailability of paper in schools.

Sri Lanka’s Public Utilities Commission has declared that the country will experience 10-hour daily power outages beginning Wednesday. According to a statement by the Ceylon Electricity Board, they were forced to take this decision due to insufficient electricity generation as a result of fuel shortages and generator outages.

Sri Lanka’s situation is likely to deteriorate. In an interview with NDTV, Murtaza Jafferjee, chairman of the Colombo-based Advocata Institute think tank years of persistent budget deficits, ill-advised tax cuts immediately before the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsidies on electricity and other utilities that disproportionately benefited wealthier Sri Lankans are some of the factors responsible for the economic crisis in the country today.

The government has also squandered public funds on white elephant projects, for instance, a lotus-shaped tower that dominates the Colombo skyline and houses an inactive revolving restaurant. The food prices in the nation increased when the government declared Sri Lanka would become the world’s first completely organic farming country. They, however, banned imported fertilizers. As a result farmers left their fields and this resulted in a hike in food prices.

Currently, Sri Lanka is seeking a bailout from the International Monetary Fund, but talks might go on until the end of the year, putting the country’s economy in jeopardy. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.