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Sri Lanka’s economic mess to continue till 2023, says Wickremesinghe

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

Sri Lanka, which is in the middle of an unprecedented economic crisis hit by food and fuel shortage, is unlikely to see its situation changing in the near future. Not only this year but even 2023 is likely to be challenging for the Sri Lankans.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who took charge in May, warned that it will take more than a year for things to start improving. He said that the economy has “completely collapsed.”

“The year 2023 is going to be difficult, but by 2024 things should pick up,” Wickremesinghe told Al Jazeera in a recent interview. However, he said that he is confident of being able to steer the country out of this economic mess.

Also read: India rushing more petrol, diesel to Sri Lanka as friendly neighbour runs out of fuel

Sri Lanka’s economy contracted 1.6 per cent in the March quarter. Though the island nation has begun talks with the International Monetary Fund for a rescue package, it could take time to concretise.

Schools and public offices have been shut down as the country has now run out of fuel.

The UN has warned that Sri Lanka could be staring at a full blown humanitarian crisis.

India is among the few countries which has promised help to Sri Lanka. New Delhi has already offered several credit lines for fuel to the cash strapped country. India has been continuously providing food and fuel to Colombo.  Sri Lanka will receive two ships containing petrol and diesel this month and another in August, the Chairman of Lanka IOC, the subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation, said.