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Sunday December 4th, 2022

Sri Lanka worst crisis could be biggest blessing

SEE, NO EMMISSIONS: Hundreds of cars can be seen parked on roadsides near filling stations in Sri Lanka for days on end, not emitting carbon dioxide in the currency crisis.

ECONOMYNEXT – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa may be facing intense criticism over the worst economic crisis since independence from Britain, but international health campaigners could give him credit for putting Sri Lankans back on their feet.

The UN Environment Program and the WHO are looking forward to the day when the entire nation of 22 million will abandon fossil fuels becoming the first to achieve an enviable “zero emissions” record.

Former Lieutenant Colonel Rajapaksa, backed by the money printing central bank is marching the entire nation in step with his “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour” manifesto to eliminate Non Communicable Diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, according to global health experts.

“Thanks to the president’s ban on agrochemicals, people are now forced to eat less,” a health official said on condition of anonymity. “Sri Lankan fruits and vegetables are now organic by default. It is healthier.”

Rajapaksa told a UN Food Summit in Rome in July 2021 that the rest of the world should follow his example.

“I hope that Sri Lanka’s example will help inspire more countries to take the bold steps required to sustainably transform the world food system to ensure food security and nutrition for our future generations,” Rajapaksa said.

Two months later, Rajapaksa addressed the world again ( https://www.un.int/srilanka/news/statement-he-gotabaya-rajapaksa-president-democratic-socialist-republic-sri-lanka-un-food ) and said his organic drive was also reducing rural poverty.

His claim was proved right. The WFP in its latest assessment of the country says half a million people were no longer in poverty after the organic drive. Instead, they are now in abject misery and in need of urgent food aid.

“The shortage of petrol and diesel may have actually been engineered by a far-sighted government to jolt people out of their sedentary lifestyles,” the WHO specialist said.

The UN Environment Program has already measured a considerable drop in greenhouse gas emissions in Sri Lanka in the past two weeks.

The numbers are stark. The country’s diesel consumption has dropped from 8,000 tonnes to just 1,200 tonnes a day, the amount that is released to pumping stations daily. Petrol is down from 4,000 tonnes to just below 300 tonnes a day.

The lack of LP gas is also having a salutary effect on controlling dengue. With homes switching from gas to coconut charcoal stoves or traditional firewood cooking there is the twin effect of smoking out mosquitoes and eliminating larvae breeding in coconut shells.

With his unconventional wisdom, the president is subtly carrying out a system change and effected social engineering to pull people out of their vehicles and put them back on their feet. No mean feat.

Please click here to read more stories by our tongue-in-cheek columnist Namal Suvendra

https://economynext.com/miscellaneous/namal-suvendra/

(COLOMBO/3July/2022)

Comments (4)

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  1. Randitha says:

    Great read, loved the sarcasm

  2. Cooray Neil says:

    Incompetence and corruption! Not a blessing, but A CURSE!

  3. Ryu says:

    That was a good read. Thanks for the laughs!

  4. Jeremy De Zilwa says:

    This is an absolutely ridiculous spin on what is happening in Sri Lanka. As a result of the spontaneous & reactive policies of the government, we have people pushed into poverty all the more so over the past few months. Suicide rates are soaring and crime has also increased.
    A decision for a country to cut down on emissions should be based on intentional policy and legal implementation. Not on the happenchance of an entire economy which is forced to be unproductive due to the lack of resources.
    Disappointed that Economy Next would publish something like this.

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Comments (4)

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Randitha says:

    Great read, loved the sarcasm

  2. Cooray Neil says:

    Incompetence and corruption! Not a blessing, but A CURSE!

  3. Ryu says:

    That was a good read. Thanks for the laughs!

  4. Jeremy De Zilwa says:

    This is an absolutely ridiculous spin on what is happening in Sri Lanka. As a result of the spontaneous & reactive policies of the government, we have people pushed into poverty all the more so over the past few months. Suicide rates are soaring and crime has also increased.
    A decision for a country to cut down on emissions should be based on intentional policy and legal implementation. Not on the happenchance of an entire economy which is forced to be unproductive due to the lack of resources.
    Disappointed that Economy Next would publish something like this.

Paris Club proposes 10-year moratorium on Sri Lanka debt, 15 years of debt restructuring

ECONOMYNEXT — The Paris Club group of creditor nations has proposed a 10-year debt moratorium on Sri Lankan debt and 15 years of debt restructuring as a formula to resolve the island nation’s prevailing currency crisis, India’s The Hindustan Times reported.

While the Paris Club has yet to formally reach out to India and China, Colombo has yet to initiate a formal dialogue with the Xi Jinping regime, the newspaper reported on Saturday December 03, inferring that the chances of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approving its 2.9 billion dollar extended fund facility for Sri Lanka in December now ranges from very low to nonexistent.

“This means that Sri Lanka will have to wait for the March IMF meeting of the IMF before any aid is extended by the Bretton Woods institution,” the newspaper reported.

“Fact is that for Sri Lanka to revive, creditors will have to take a huge hair cut with Paris Club clearly hinting that global south should also take the same cut as global north notwithstanding the inequitable distribution of wealth. In the meantime, as Colombo is still to get its act together and initiate a dialogue and debt reconciliation with China, it will need bridge funding to sustain the next three month before the IMF executive board meeting in March 2023. Clearly, things will get much worse for Sri Lanka before they get any better—both economically and politically,” the report said. (Colombo/Dec04/2022)

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Sri Lanka’s Ceylon tea prices up amid low volumes

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka tea prices picked up at the last auction in November amid low volumes, brokers said.

“Auction offerings continued to record a further decline and totalled 4.2 million Kilograms, of which Ex-Estate offerings comprised of 0.6 million Kilograms. There was good demand,” Forbes and Walker Tea brokers said.

“In the Ex-Estate catalogues, overall quality of teas showed no appreciable change. Here again, there was good demand in the backdrop of extremely low volumes.”

High Growns

BOP Best Westerns were firm to 50 rupees per kg dearer. Below best and plainer types were Rs.50/- per kg easier on last.

Nuwara Eliya’s were firm.

BOPF Best Westerns were firm to selectively dearer. Below best and plainer teas declined by 50 rupees per kg.

Uva/Uda Pussellawas’ were generally firm and price variances were often reflective of quality with the exception of Select Best Uva BOPF’s which were firm and up to 50 rupees per kilogram dearer.

CTC teas, in general, were mostly firm.

“Most regular buyers were active, with perhaps a slightly more forceful trend from the local trade,” brokers said.

Corresponding OP1’s met with improved demand. Well-made OP/OPA’s in general were fully firm, whilst the Below Best varieties and poorer sorts met with improved demand. PEK/PEK1’s, in general, were fully firm to selectively dearer.

In the Tippy catalogues, well-made FBOP/FF1’s sold around last levels, whilst the cleaner Below Best and cleaner teas at the bottom appreciated. Balance too were dearer to a lesser extent.

In the Premium catalogues, very Tippy teas continued to attract good demand. Best were firm to selectively dearer, whilst the Below Best and cleaner teas at the bottom appreciated

Low Growns

Low Growns comprised 1.8 million Kilograms. Market met with improved demand, in general.

In the Leafy & Semi Leafy catalogues, select Best BOP1/OP1’s were fully firm, whilst the Below Best/bolder BOP1’s were barely steady.

Low-grown teas, farmed mainly by smallholders and exported to the Middle East and Central Asia, are the most sought-after and expensive Ceylon Teas.

Low-grown CTC prices have gained this week to 982.80 per kilogram this week from 934.76 per kilogram last week.

Few Select best BOP1s maintained, whilst best and below best were irregularly lower. Poorer types maintained.

BOPF’s in general, firm market.

FBOPF/FBOPF1’s select best and best increased in value, whilst the below best and bottom held firm.

Selected best BOP1’s maintained, whilst best and below best were irregularly lower.Poorer types maintained.

OP1’s selects best together with best and below best were firm to dearer. Poorer sorts were fully firm.

Medium Growns

BOPF’s, select best gained by 50 rupees per kilogram. Others maintained.

BOP1’s select best dearer by 100 rupees per kg whilst all others moved up by 50 rupees per kg.

OP1: select best gained by 100 rupees per kg whilst all others dearer by 100 rupees per kg.

OP/OPA’s in general, dearer by 50 rupees per kg whilst the poorer sorts were firm.

PEK’s Select best gained by 50 rupees per kg whilst all others maintained. PEK1: In general, dearer by 50 rupees per kg. (Colombo/Dec 04/2022)

 

 

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Sri Lanka Ports Authority East Terminal contractor paid: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ports Authority had paid a deposit for a gantry crane and made the required payment for the contractor to complete building the East Container Terminal, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said.

The East Container Terminal, a part of which is already built is being completed as a fully SLPA owned terminal at a cost of 480 million dollars Ports and Shipping Minister de Silva said.

“ECT we are funding with money available in the ports authority,” he said.

“Up to now we have paid an advance for the gantry crane. And for the construction we have paid all the money agreed with the contractor. So that is going on well.”

Sri Lanka is undergoing the worst currency crisis in the history of the island’s soft-pegged (flexible exchange rate) central bank which has created difficulties in funding the project.

“Every penny we collect as dollars we are keeping them separately and utilizing that for the Eastern Terminal work,” Minister de Silva said.

“We are confident that the ECT will be completed within the envisaged time. It is a difficult task in view of the dollar problem.

Banks were also not releasing the dollar deposits of the SLPA earlier but are now doing so, he said.

“Our deposits in banks they have utilized for urgent other national purposes,” he said.

“So they are releasing that money slowly. I am happy that they are releasing that money little by little. So with that we will be able to manage that.”

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