Written By: Aashish Vashistha
April 25, 2022 (New Delhi): Sri Lanka is suffering from the worst form of economic crisis. Its been months of lengthy blackouts, acute food and fuel shortages, highest form of inflation and situation of rising stagflation (where there is high inflation in the country due to high demand for goods and services, but no production and economic growth becomes stagnant with no employment opportunities), have sparked increasing public’s anger and frustration in Lanka, which is the worst economic downturn since its independence in 1948. Undoubtedly, Ukraine-Russia War has brutally affected every single economy in the world. This is the time when the whole globe is in panic with the newly found COVID-19 variant and also with the hikes in fuel prices due to Ukrainian Crisis
However, Srilankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has acknowledged that policy mistakes by his government led to the island nation’s dire economic crisis and their downfall. For every leader, his citizens are the priority. Any leader of the nation can not see his people desperately dying due to hunger and poverty. In Srilanka, people have endured months of shortages of essentials like food, fuel, cooking gas and medicine, lining up for hours to buy the very limited stocks available and eagerly waiting for feeding their children. Government of Sri Lanka could have made efforts to approach International Monetary Fund asking for their help in facing the impending debt crisis and should not have banned chemical fertilizer in an attempt to make Sri Lankan agriculture fully organic which had increased their debt leading to bankruptcy.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa should not have taken large loans for infrastructure projects from other nations if he is not potent enough to fulfill them on time which has further increased debts on the island nation. Government of Sri Lanka should now focus on the eradication of corruption and taking strict action against people promoting it so that economic equilibrium can be established in the country where there should not be any disparity between the rich and the poor.
It is also a matter of utmost priority that being a President of Srilanka, Rajapaksa should focus on the equal use of import and export so that excessive imports will not lead to the situation of ‘trade deficit’ (a situation when a country’s imports are more than it exports, it runs a trade deficit.) Lanka’s President, Gotabaya should stand tall in ever odds and difficult circumstances and support his people with humility and affection ratter than blaming others for the downfall of the nation. In this harsh moment of despair and darkness, he should hold the courage to make tough decisions and should be compassionate enough to listen to the grievances and problems of the people of Sri Lanka. Not just International Monetary Fund (IMF), Lanka’s President should talk to every nation and seeking for their help in this moment of crisis.