India offers drugs to Sri Lanka as currency crashes and price controls affect supply

ECONOMYNEXT – India has offered Sri Lanka 25 tonnes of medical supplies to Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, its high commission in Colombo has said as the country reels from a drug shortage due to the collapse currency and price control.

Part of the supplies will go to Hambantota General Hospital, Peradeniya Teaching Hospital and Jaffna Teaching Hospital.

Part of the medical supplies would go to the Suwaseriya Paramedic Service which was started as an aid project from India.

The supplies were sent in response to a request from opposition lawmaker Harsha de Silva, who helped set up the service during Yahapalana’s toppled administration.

Acting Indian High Commissioner to Colombo Vinod K. Jacob handed over the supplies worth Rs 260 million to Health Minister Rambukwella on May 27.

The relief supplies were sent on the Indian Navy Ship (INS) Gharial, a 5,600 ton landing ship.

India had earlier sent medicines to Peradeniya Teaching Hospital on the Indian Navy ship Gharial.

Sri Lanka is facing drug shortages after money printing led to a currency crash and currency shortages. Suppliers had also blamed National Medical Regulatory Authority price controls for the shortages.

Sri Lanka has a middle-tier central bank that the country’s economists misuse to print money to stimulate growth (monetary stimulus or output gap targeting) and trigger currency crises.

Critics had also warned that the NMRA’s price controls were a key mistake of the ousted Yahapalana administration which had warned that the agency would create shortages in the future whenever the currency collapsed (the Sri -Lankan Neros playing the violin while Colombo burns with the fall of the rupee). (Colombo/May 28/2022)