Sri Lanka declares economic emergency as food prices soar

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Colombo: Amid the foreign exchange crisis, Sri Lanka has declared an economic emergency allowing the authorities to seize stocks of staple foods and set their prices to keep a check on inflation.

According to the news report published in Reuters.com, the emergency came into effect from midnight after president Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared an emergency on Monday under the public security ordinance. With this, the country will be able to maintain the supply of food items including sugar and rice at fair prices.

The government has empowered a former army general with the post of commissioner of essential services to seize sugar stocks hoarded by traders and retailers and regulate prices.

A press release issued by the media division of the President stated that the appointed officer will take essential steps to make sugar available at an affordable rate.

According to Sri Lanka’s Department of Census and Statistics, the increase in the foreign exchange rate was one of the reasons behind the rising prices of many essential items over the last 12 months.

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