Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis effects many areas in the essential sectors, including food and medicines.
Foreign exchange crisis has affected the establishment of Letters of Credit(lc) for import of pharmaceuticals including the ones used in the treatment of people suffering from some non-communicable diseases.
Sri Lanka annually spends Rs.45 billion for the import of its pharmaceuticals. With the dwindling of foreign reserves, the government has imposed curbs on imports except for fuel, essential food items and pharmaceuticals. However, it is still difficult to secure contractual commitments from the banking system to release foreign exchange to be paid for imports.
Asked about the situation, General Manager of the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) Dinusha Dasanayake admitted to the Daily mirror that his office had encountered problems in opening LCS these days. He said there was no shortage of essential pharmaceutical in the country at the moment.
“As for other imports, we also face problems in opening LCS to purchase medicinal drugs. We are in touch with the financial authorities to address the issue. we currently don’t have any shortage of drugs
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s economy contracted 1.5 percent in the July-September quarter from a year ago, as the recovery set forth in the same period last year was beset by the fresh lockdowns, acute shortage in foreign currency liquidity and soaring prices.
The economy staged a quick rebound in the same period last year after the successful containment of the first wave of the virus, propelling the output in the third quarter in 2020.
Hence, the economic output of the third quarter 2021 came below the corresponding quarter’s levels, reflecting what is known as higher base effects.