India has sent additional relief workers to economic-crisis-hit neighbor Sri Lanka, who will reach Colombo on Sunday, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka tweeted.
“People from #India standing by their brothers in #SriLanka. More than SLR 2 billion worth of rice, milk powder and medicines are set to reach #Colombo on Sunday. The shipment was signed off from #Chennai by CM of Tamil Nadu @mkstalin on Wednesday,” the Indian mission wrote on its Twitter handle.
So far, New Delhi has given Colombo US$3.5 billion in economic assistance to help the island nation deal with economic challenges. As part of its Neighborhood First policy, India has provided aid to overcome food and medicine shortages.
On Thursday, Sri Lankan High Commissioner Milinda Moragoda met with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval where they discussed issues including the economic crisis in the Sri Lankan nation.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis in decades, with shortages of essential goods sparking massive protests across the country. The central bank has now announced that the country will lower the amount of foreign currency individuals can hold to $10,000, penalizing anyone holding 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 it into local currency within two weeks. After that time, the central bank officials, along with the police, will conduct raids and the hoarders will be fined.
The move comes amid a severe currency shortage that has led to difficulties paying for imports of essentials like fuel, cooking gas, medicines and food.
Over 35 percent of all foreign currency transactions occur outside of the banking sector, Weerasinghe said. Highlighting the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka, he said the people of the island nation are in dire need of essential imports such as petrol, fuel and medicines without having to stand in long lines and wait. For this, Sri Lanka’s foreign currency must be kept in the banking system.
“Pop culture scholar. Subtly charming beer specialist. Reader. Student. Devoted music advocate.”