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Sri Lanka: Every week quota of petrol and diesel will be fixed, rationing system will be implemented at petrol pumps

By early April, Sri Lanka was facing a 10-hour daily power cut due to a shortage of diesel and furnace oil for power generation.

Sri Lanka’s Energy Minister Kanchan Vijayasekhar tweeted on Sunday: “Until we are able to strengthen the financial position, restore power 24 hours a day and have a steady supply of fuel, we will have no access to register consumers at filling stations.” And they have no choice but to give them a guaranteed weekly quota. I hope this system will be implemented by the first week of July.”

He expressed hope that the implementation of this system will help in removing the confusion regarding fuel.

There have also been reports of fuel stockpiling and hoarding in the country. Vijayasekhar expressed hope that this measure of enforcing the fuel quota would go a long way in overcoming the crisis. He said in another tweet that, “With financial restrictions, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation imports fuel for a week, but some consumers stockpile fuel for a month or more for their machinery and generators.”

He said that for diesel, furnace oil and naphtha in 24-hour electricity supply, an additional $100 million is spent monthly. He said the shortfall in gas supply has increased the demand for electricity and kerosene, and the monthly fuel bill which was US$ 200 million four months ago is now US$ 550 million.

Meanwhile, fuel shipments payable under the Indian line of credit are reaching Sri Lanka later this month. But there is no indication about continuity of supply in future. It is dependent on India’s assistance.

“We are expecting the last diesel shipment under the Indian Line of Credit (ILC) on June 16 and the last petrol shipment on June 22,” Vijayasekhar told reporters. Sri Lanka’s fuel procurement is completely dependent on ILC. It was initially a line of credit of US$ 500 million which was later increased to US$ 200 million.

Vijayasekhar said the minimum daily requirement of diesel was 5,000 metric tonnes as people need it to run private generators due to power cuts.

India has donated thousands of tonnes of diesel and petrol, in addition to food and medical supplies, to help ease the acute fuel shortage in the debt-ridden nation Sri Lanka.

Due to the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, there is a severe shortage of essential items like food, medicine, cooking gas, fuel, toilet paper and even matches. Citizens are being forced to wait for hours outside gas shops for months on end for fuel and cooking.

People in Sri Lanka have to queue up outside petrol pumps to buy fuel due to non-availability of sufficient quantity of petrol and diesel. The country is facing 10-hour power cuts since the beginning of April due to fuel shortage. In such a situation, the government can implement the ‘rationing’ system of fuel to control the situation.

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