Sri Lanka’s food crisis worsens
May 24, 2022 - Sri Lanka’s inflation hit a seventh consecutive record at 33.8 percent in April as a petrol shortage worsened, and food prices rose sharply, shooting to 45.1 percent year-on-year.
According to the Department of Census and Statistics, inflation will rise further in May as fuel price hikes of 35% for petrol and 65% for diesel feed into the broader economy.
Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said a newly appointed "economic war cabinet" on Monday (May 23, 2022) approved the new rates to stem massive losses at the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corp.
Wijesekera said the government is seeking a US$500 million loan from India to purchase fuel, and two credit lines worth $700 million are available from New Delhi.
The economy collapsed with the coronavirus pandemic, as tourism revenues and foreign worker remittances plummetted.
Last month Sri Lanka defaulted on its $51 billion foreign debt and sought emergency aid to revive the bankrupt economy from the International Monetary Fund.
Protesters continue to demand President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's resignation, and the country is still without a finance minister to conduct the bailout talks with the IMF.