ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers has approved the appointment of an eight-member committee headed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on the cost of living, after inflation in the currency crisis-hit country rose to 54.6 percent.
The committee is tasked with recommending policy and practical solutions to maintaining a stable cost of living, co-cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena said.
The committee, headed by the president, will comprise Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and the ministers of fisheries, transport & highways, agriculture, plantations, power & energy, and trade, commerce & food security.
The cabinet has also approved a food security committee to be chaired by Minister of Trade, Commerce & Food Security Nalin Fernando and relevant ministry secretaries, said Gunawardena.
Food prices in Sri Lanka rose 80.1 percent in the 12 months from June 2021 to June 2022.
Food prices have risen 102.7 percent since February 2020 when aggressive open market operations to create a ‘developmental state’ began.
Sri Lanka’s inflation grew 54.6 percent inflation in the 12 months to June 2022, with the central bank driving up consumer prices in the capital Colombo 12.8 percent during the month, official data showed.
The Colombo Consumer Price Index, the most widely watched price gauge rose to 220.2 points from 195.2 points a month earlier after two years of money printing and a collapse of a soft-peg.
Unprecedented forex shortages in Sri Lanka have led to crippling shortages of essentials including fuel, and public anger is at an all time high with massive protests planned for July 09 demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the government. (Colombo/Jul05/2022)