Sri Lanka declares economic emergency as food crisis worsens

Sri Lanka has announced an economic emergency, after a vertical fall in the value of the South Asian country's currency caused a spike in food prices.  Sri Lankan authorities say they will take control of the supply of basic food items, including rice and sugar, and set prices in an attempt to control rising inflation, according to British Broadcasting Corporation report

The Sri Lankan rupee has fallen by 7.5 percent against the US dollar this year. The wide-ranging emergency measures came into effect on Tuesday. An Ex-army general has been appointed by the government as the commissioner of essential services, with the power to seize stocks held by traders and retailers." The authorized officers will be able to take steps to provide essential food items at a concessionary rate to the public by purchasing stocks of essential food items," the president of the island nation, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, said in a statement, adding that "These items will be provided at government-guaranteed prices or based on the customs value on imported goods to prevent market irregularities."

The announcement came after a surge in the cost of basic foodstuffs such as sugar, onions and potatoes.There have also been long queues outside shops due to shortages of other goods including milk powder, kerosene and cooking gas.

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