Sri Lanka has slapped a ban on the import of 300 consumer items like chocolates, perfumes and shampoos as part of the cash-strapped island nation’s bid to tackle its worst economic crisis triggered by the shortage of foreign exchange.
Sri Lanka is going through its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948. The worsening forex crisis caused essential items shortages triggering massive public protests in the street since early this year that led to the ouster of the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government last month.
In a special notification issued by the Sri Lankan Finance Ministry, the ban was imposed on a total of 300 items including chocolates, perfumes, makeup and shampoo among several other products.
“Under imports and exports control regulations dated August 22 an import ban on a wide range of consumer items from food to machinery has come into immediate effect,” the notification said.
However, these items if shipped before August 23 and arrive in the country before September 14 would still be allowed, it stated.
In mid April, Sri Lanka declared its international debt default due to the forex crisis.
The island nation is desperate for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout and talks for a staff level agreement commenced in Colombo on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka’s central bank governor Nandalal Weerasinghe has expressed hope that the IMF facility would be made available by the year’s end.