TN dispatches second relief consignment to Sri Lanka

The second consignment of relief materials from Tamil Nadu was sent from to Sri Lanka on June 22, 2022.

Key Facts

  • The relief material was sent to people of Sri Lanka, who are affected by an economic crisis.
  • The Ship carried 15,000 metric tonnes of essential commodities.
  • It was sent from Tuticorin port.
  • The second consignment contain 14,712 metric tonne of rice which equals to worth Rs 48.30 crore, medicines worth Rs 11.90 crore and 250 tonne of milk powder worth Rs 7.50 crore.

Background

On April 29, 2022 Tamil Nadu assembly had passed a resolution to help people of Sri Lanka. later, union government gave permission following which relief materials worth Rs 33 crore were sent from Chennai port on May 18. Government has promised to provide an aid of worth Rs 123 crore, including 500 tonne of milk powder, life-saving medicines and 40,000 tonnes of rice.

Economic Crisis in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has been facing a crisis due to serious Balance of Payments (BoP) problem. Foreign exchange reserves of the country have decreased rapidly. Country is unable to import essential consumption goods. It is the result of historical imbalances in economic structure, and misguided policies of authoritarian rulers.

How Sri Lanka went into crisis?

In 2009, Sri Lanka emerged from a 26-year long civil war. The post-war GDP growth was high at 8-9% per annum and remained high till 2012. But the average GDP growth rate reduced to half after 2013, due to decrease in prices of global commodity, rise in imports and reduction in exports. Budget deficit were high, due to which it approached IMF in 2016 for USD 1.5 billion loan. But IMF conditionalities further deteriorated economic health in the country. Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 further deteriorated the situation because Exports of tea, spices, rubber, and garments suffered and Tourism related revenues reduced further. In 2021, Sri Lanka banned all fertiliser imports and its was declared overnight that the country would become a 100% organic farming nation. Overnight shift to organic fertilisers impacted food production, leading to rise in food prices. Currently, Inflation is more than 15%.

India’s aid to Sri Lanka

India has been providing significant economic support to Sri Lanka, since January 2022. India’s relief totals over USD 1.4 billion. It also extended USD 1 billion short-term concessional loan.

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