COLOMBO: On ‘The Gist‘, Direct From Colombo, Nitin A. Gokhale, Founder and Editor-in-Chief StratNews Global and BharatShakti in conversation with Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.
Skyrocketing inflation, weak government finances, ill-timed tax cuts and the Covid-19 pandemic, which hurt the important revenue-generating tourism industry and foreign remittances, have wreaked havoc on the Sri Lankan economy over the past several months. Food prices have shot up by as much as 25% in the last month alone. The country’s foreign currency reserves have plummeted by about 70% since January 2020 to around $2.3 billion by February 2022, even as it faces debt payments of about $4 billion through the rest of the year.
Nitin Gokhale discusses his meeting with “the beleaguered Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is battling Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis, some of the blame which certainly lies with his government, but how recklessly profligate earlier regimes are no less guilty, the Covid-induced downturn, the President acknowledging that the situation is tough and debt restructuring and a bailout from the IMF is the only way out, how India has been most helpful during this unprecedented crisis and has promised more assistance if needed.”
Editor’s Note: StratNews regrets intermittent lip-sync issues because of local network strength variations.