India sends another consignment of food, medicines to crisis-hit Sri Lanka

Till now, New Delhi has extended economic support to Colombo to the tune of $3.5 billion to help the island nation in tackling the economic challenges. As part of its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, India has provided assistance to overcome the shortage of food and medicines.
A woman and her grandson carry an empty cylinder as they arrive to stand in a queue to buy domestic gas at a distribution centre, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.(Reuters)
A woman and her grandson carry an empty cylinder as they arrive to stand in a queue to buy domestic gas at a distribution centre, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.(Reuters)
Published on May 20, 2022 10:28 PM IST
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By | Written by Aryan Prakash

India has sent additional aide to economic crisis-hit neighbour Sri Lanka which will reach Colombo on Sunday, the Indian high commission in Sri Lanka tweeted. 

“People of #India, standing by their brethren in #SriLanka. Rice, milk powder and medicines worth more than SLR 2billion is scheduled to reach #Colombo on Sunday. The consignment was flagged off from #Chennai by CM of Tamil Nadu @mkstalin on Wednesday,” the Indian mission posted on its Twitter handle.

Till now, New Delhi has extended economic support to Colombo to the tune of $3.5 billion to help the island nation in tackling the economic challenges. As part of its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, India has provided assistance to overcome the shortage of food and medicines. 

On Thursday, Sri Lankan high commissioner Milinda Moragoda met national security advisor Ajit Doval wherein they discussed issues including the economic crisis in the Lankan nation. 

Sri Lanka is facing the worst economic crisis in decades, with the shortage of essentials leading to massive protests across the country. The Central Bank has now announced that the country will lower the amount of foreign currency that the individuals can hold to $10,000, penalising anyone who holds foreign currency for more than three months, AFP reported.

Central Bank governor Nandalal Weerasinghe urged people to deposit the excess foreign currency in banks or convert into local currency within two weeks. After that time, the central bank officials along with police will carry out raids and the hoarders will be fined.

The move comes amid severe shortage of currency which has resulted in hardships in paying for the import of essentials like fuel, cooking gas, medicines and food.

Over 35 per cent of the total foreign currency transactions happen outside of the banking sector, stated Weerasinghe. Emphasizing the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka, he further said that the people of the island country are in a dire need of essential imports like gas, fuel, and medicine without having to stand and wait in long queues. For that, Sri Lanka's foreign currency must be kept in the banking system.

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