India has rushed 44,000 tonnes of urea to the bankrupt Sri Lanka to facilitate in meeting the domestic requirements for the current and the next sowing seasons.
“Delighted that 44000 MT Urea fertilizer provided by India under Line of Credit reached Colombo & handed over to Govt of LK. It will help to meet farming requirement in current & next cropping seasons,” Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya who is in charge of the chemicals and fertilisers along with the health ministry said in a tweet.
He added that India has “proved to be a true friend of Sri Lankan people in their need.”
Hit by acute shortage of food and fuel, massive protests have erupted in the island nation.
Angry protestors have stormed into the residence of President Rajapaksa Wickremesinghe while setting fire on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s private home. Both leaders have now offered to resign on Wednesday.
Last year, Rajapaksa’s decision to ban chemical fertiliser imports has led to this massive shortage of food. Crop losses amounted to about 50 per cent.
While Covid 19 pandemic aggravated the country’s economic crisis, the Rajapaksas and their “populist” economic policies have led to the current fiasco. The country has already defaulted on its $51 billion external debt
The Diplomat in a report said that “mismanaged government finances and ill-timed tax cuts,” have led to the problem.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) which has been in talks with the Sri Lankan government for a rescue package is closely monitoring the situation. Talks will now have to be stalled until a new government takes over. This could only further intensify the economic crisis.
The delay in IMF assistance would only aggravate the economic crisis in the country.