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Sri Lanka lifts import limits on 286 items as crisis eases

 Sri Lanka lifts import limits on 286 items as crisis eases

Sri Lanka lifts import limits on 286 items as crisis eases
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A overall view of city’s skyline, amid the country’s economic crisis in Colombo, Sri Lanka, April 19, 2022. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

By Uditha Jayasinghe

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka lifted import restrictions on 286 items, the Finance Ministry said on Saturday, a recent signal the South Asian nation is starting to emerge from its worst economic crisis in a long time.

The island off India’s southern cruise plunged into crisis closing year as its foreign swap reserves ran out. The executive restricted imports on bigger than 3,200 items, including seafood, electronics, and even musical instruments.

Its fortunes hold improved over the final 9 months as Sri Lanka secured a $2.9 billion bailout from the World Monetary Fund (IMF), moderated its as soon as-hovering inflation and launched into rebuilding its foreign swap reserves.

Sri Lanka’s reserves grew 26% to a 17-month excessive of $3.5 billion in Would possibly perchance presumably, helped by stronger remittances and tourism earnings. The forex has risen about 24% this year, central bank recordsdata confirmed.

“With the economic system stabilising, import restrictions on 286 items hold been lifted from Friday middle of the night,” the Finance Ministry said in a press commence.

Restrictions on 928 items will continue, including car imports, which hold been banned in March 2020, the assertion said.

A wide sequence of items from railway carriages to radio broadcasting receivers are incorporated in potentially the most modern record released from restrictions.

Sri Lanka will also reduce costs of 60 wanted medication by 16% from this week.

Despite the easing of the crisis, the country easy needs to remain debt talks with creditors by September, in time for its first IMF programme review, and put into effect key economic reforms to position its recovery on a sustainable direction.

The IMF expects Sri Lanka’s economic system to shrink about 3% this year after a 7.8% contraction closing year, nonetheless the chief forecasts a return to exclaim next year.

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