SL seeks China and India for credit to purchase drugs, Oil and Food

As the foreign exchange crisis grows, the government is expecting credit arrangements with China and India for the import of essential Items, Colombo sources said.

The Sri Lankan State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) is currently struggling, being unable to open Letters of Credit (LC) to import more than 80 essential drugs.

The Central Bank reluctant to release foreign exchange until it settles US $ 500 million of International Sovereign Bonds maturing this month.

Therefore, Sri Lanka is negotiating with China for a credit arrangement to purchase pharmaceuticals.

During the recent visit of Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa to India, the supply of essential food items and drugs was one of the four areas agreed upon.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka faces power shortage due to the lack of furnace oil for thermal power generation, a spokesman for the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said.

The power generation of Sapugaskanda and the Barge mounted power plant had stopped since the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) had been unable to supply furnace oil.

But the CPC said it could not provide fuel to the CEB unless payments were made in US dollars.

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