ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has lifted a ban on the import of chemical fertilizers with effect from November 30, 2021 which disrupted domestic agriculture and threatened food availability amid a money printing bout that had created forex shortages.
The fertilizer ban was imposed through Sri Lanka’s Import and Export Control Act on May 06, 2021.
Some chelated chemical fertilizers were then allowed on July 31 under license.
The gazette had also been repealed.
The gazettes were repealed from November 30, “without prejudice to the importation of goods,” a gazette notice said.
Sri Lanka banned fertilizer imports partly to save foreign exchange and also on health grounds after the Government Medical Officers Association had said ancient Sri Lankans lived up to 140 years according to Pliny the Elder, a Roman author of an encyclopedia.
Sri Lanka’s Import Export Act was enacted in 1969 as the central bank printed money mostly to re-finance rural credit and created currency crisis under a United National Party administration led by Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake.
At the time the US Fed and UK was also printing money in a Keynesian philosophy taught in Anglo-American universities which is similar to the current modern monetary theory/quantity easing craze.
The administration also brought in foreign exchange entitlement certificates, but was defeated in subsequent elections.
Sri Lanka’s public and politicians have paid a price for interventionist bureaucrats who printed money to keep rates down especially when the Fed printed money (mostly to subsidize fuel) and when it ultimately tightened policy. (Colombo/Dec01/2021)