Friday, December 9, 2022

Sri Lanka to turn off street lights in deepening crisis 

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Market Desk (Economy): Sri Lanka has decided to turn off all street lights after announcing a record 10 hours of power outages across the country as hydropower is also declining amid the acute energy crisis, the news quoted from minister as saying.

The worst economic crisis in decades has been caused by the acute energy crisis. The country’s main stock market has collapsed. Trade has come to a standstill. Because of the lack of foreign exchange, the government does not have the necessary funds to import fuel.

The Sri Lankan government has been in a tug of war for the past few months. Debt means the treasury has been crushed. Foreign exchange reserves at the bottom. No oil, no food. If there is half an hour, then 2 hours disappear! The way to import to meet the demand for energy is not closed-reserve! In such a situation, the locals have gone back to the era of charcoal ironing of the seventies and eighties.

Suffering here too! In a country of scarcity, everything seems out of reach! Even in the recent times, you have to buy old products at high prices! And the wood-coal iron machine is being sold at 900 rupees. Lack of supply in the local market has also created a crisis for the product. Sri Lankans say the country’s economy has not suffered such a setback since independence in 1947. Not only power outages but also gas and water shortages have hit the country.

“This is the worst level of inflation Sri Lanka has experienced in over a decade,” said DimanthaMathew, head of research at First Capital Research.

A diesel shipment under a $500 million credit line from India was expected on Saturday, Wanniarachchi said, though she warned that would not fix the issue.

“Once that arrives we will be able to reduce load shedding hours but until we receive rains, probably sometime in May, power cuts will have to continue,” the minister said.

“There’s nothing else we can do.”

Water levels at reservoirs feeding hydro-electric projects had fallen to record lows, while demand record highs during the hot, dry season, she said.

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