Sri Lanka has announced an economic emergency, which allows the government authorities to seize stocks of staple foods and set their prices to contain soaring inflation after a steep devaluation of its currency due to a foreign exchange crisis.
Sri Lanka’s president and accused war criminal, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, declared an emergency under the public security ordinance to maintain the supply of food items such as sugar and rice at fair prices.
“The authorised officers will be able to take steps to provide essential food items at concessionary rate to the public by purchasing stocks of essential food items including paddy, rice and sugar,” according to a press statement issued by Gotabaya’s media division.
“These items will be provided at government guaranteed prices or based on the customs value on imported goods to prevent market irregularities,” the statement said.
The government has appointed a former army general as commissioner of essential services, who will have the power to seize food stocks held by traders and retailers and regulate their prices.