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Sri Lanka to control imports except oil and medicines, grow vegetables: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will ban all non-essential imports except for fuel and medicine and launch a drive to grow vegetables, Co-cabinet Minister Ramesh Pathirana said as the island battled against Coronavirus and the currency came under pressure from liquidity injections.

“The government has decided to ban and limit non-essential imports except essential drugs and fuel,” Minister Pathirana said.

“The main objective is in the near future to build a strong domestic agriculture and strong domestic industries.”

He said domestic agriculture would be encouraged as many countries may restrict food exports in the near future.

Minister Chamal Rajapaksa is launching a vegetable cultivation drive to grow Kollu, Undu, red onion, turmeric and also utilise unused land.

The comments came as Sri Lanka ratcheted up liquidity injections with the central bank purchasing Treasuries and CB re-financed credit scheme was launched, raising fears of further monetary instability.

Sri Lanka has already halted the import of vehicles and a series of non-essential items as the rupee came under pressure. (Colombo/Apr02/2020)

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