Sri Lanka food crisis: Rice selling at Rs 220/kg, milk powder Rs 1900/kg
Colombo, Apr 03: As Sri Lanka battles an economic crisis like never before, the prices of food items in Country’s supermarket’s has skyrocketed in the recent weeks.
Reportedly, rice was being sold for Rs 220 per kg while wheat cost Rs 190 per kg.
Sugar is being sold for Rs 240, while coconut oil was selling at Rs 850 per litre. A single egg costs Rs 30. A section of people cannout buy milk powder as it now retails for Rs 1,900 for pack of 1 kg.
Sri Lanka is currently reeling under a severe foreign exchange crisis with falling reserves and the government is unable to foot the bill for essential imports. The Island country is on the verge of bankruptcy.
According to the World Bank estimates, 5 lakh people in Sri Lanka have fallen below the poverty line since the pandemic struck, which it described as a “huge setback equivalent to five years’ worth of progress”.
A major problem that the country is facing is a huge foreign debt burden as it owes over $5 billion in debt to China alone. It is paying an additional $1 billion loan to Beijing that it took in 2021. It also owes big money to India and Japan. As of November, foreign currency reserves available with the country were just $1.58 billion, down from $7.5 billion when Rajapaksa became the president in 2019.
Sri Lanka’s high dependence on imports for its essential items such as sugar, pulses, cereals and pharmaceuticals has only added to the troubles as the country is facing a shortage of foreign currency to pay the import bills.