Sri Lanka to send $5 Million worth tea to Iran every month to pay off oil debt
Sri Lanka is planning to pay off its debt for oil imports from Iran with tea. Ramesh Pathirana, a member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, has said that the country is planning to send tea worth $5 million to Iran each month to clear a debt of $251 million.
Sri Lanka is experiencing debt and foreign exchange crisis that has been worsened by the loss in income from tourism due to the coronavirus pandemic. The members of the Tea Board of Sri Lanka have said that this is the first time when the country is bartering tea to set off the foreign debt.
The Plantation Ministry said that the scheme will save the much-needed foreign exchange of Sri Lanka as the debts will be paid off with tea. A spokesperson for the Planters’ Association of Ceylon has also said that this mode of transaction is just a plaster solution by the government.