From now on, a guaranteed weekly fuel quota in Sri Lanka in crisis

Economic crisis in Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since its independence.

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The Sri Lankan government plans to introduce a fuel rationing program from next month, under which registered consumers at petrol stations would be guaranteed a weekly quota, a senior minister said on Sunday.

The island nation has been experiencing long queues for refueling since mid-February, with diesel supply strained for thermal power generation.

In early April, the island was experiencing 10-hour power cuts due to shortages of diesel and fuel oil for power generation.

“We have no choice but to register consumers at gas stations and give them a guaranteed weekly quota until we are able to strengthen the financial situation, restore electricity 24h /24 hours and steady fuel supply. I hope this system will be in place by the 1st week of July,” Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera tweeted on Sunday.

The minister said the fuel supply should be managed until there is an uninterrupted round-the-clock, 24-hour supply of electricity and fuel.

This shortage has led to reports of stockpiling and hoarding of fuel. Wijesekera hoped that this measure of imposing a fuel quota would go a long way in resolving the crisis.

“With financial restrictions in place, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation imports fuel to manage for a week, but some consumers store fuel for a month or more for their machinery and generators,” he said in another tweet. .

He said 24-hour electricity supply costs an additional $100 million per month for diesel, heating oil and naphtha.

The gas supply shortage has increased the demand for electricity and kerosene, and the monthly fuel bill that was $200 million four months ago now stands at $550 million, added the minister.

Meanwhile, the last fuel deliveries due under India’s line of credit are arriving in Sri Lanka later this month, with no indication of whether future supplies will be sustained, which is dependent on India’s aid. .

“We are expecting the last delivery of diesel under ILC (Indian Line of Credit) on June 16 and the last delivery of gasoline on June 22,” Wijesekera told reporters on Saturday.

Sri Lanka’s fuel purchases were totally dependent on the ILC – a credit line of $500 million initially which was topped up with another $200 million later.

Wijesekera said the minimum daily diesel requirement is 5,000 metric tons as people need it to run private generators due to enforced power cuts.

India has aided Sri Lanka with thousands of tons of diesel and gasoline, in addition to food and medical supplies, to help ease the severe fuel shortage in the indebted island nation.

The economic crisis in Sri Lanka has caused severe shortages of essential items like food, medicine, cooking gas and other fuels, toilet paper and even matches, with citizens forced for months to queuing for hours in front of stores to buy fuel and cooking. gas.

The sharp depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee against the US dollar, the surge in global crude prices due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the depletion of gas reserves are the reasons why the country is struggling to import oil. fuel.

As a result, spontaneous protests have been reported at gas stations across the country where consumers wait in long, winding lines for fuel for hours.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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