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India gifts Sri Lanka drugs as currency collapse, price controls hit drug supplies

May 28, 2022 10:42:54 AM - economynext.com

ECONOMYNEXT – India has gifted Sri Lanka 25 tonnes of medical supplies to Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, its High Commission in Colombo said as the country reels from a shortage of drugs due to a currency collapse and price controls.

Some of the supplies would go to General Hospital Hambantota, Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya and Teaching Hospital, Jaffna.

A part of the medical supplies would go to the Suwaseriya paramedic ambulance service which was initiated as a grant aid project of India.

The supplies were sent in response to a request by opposition legislator Harsha de Silva, who helped set up the service during the ousted Yahapalana administration.

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

The relief supplies were sent on Indian Naval Ship (INS) Gharial, a 5600 tonne Landing ship.

India had previously sent drugs to the Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya on the Indian Naval Ship Gharial.

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

Sri Lanka has an intermediate regime central bank which the economists in the country mis-use to print money to boost growth (monetary stimulus or output gap targeting) and trigger currency crises.

Critics had also warned that the price-controlling NMRA was a key blunder of the ousted Yahapalana administration had warned that agency would create shortages in the future whenever the currency collapsed (Sri Lanka’s pharma control Neros fiddling while Colombo burns with falling rupee). (Colombo/May28/2022)