Sri Lanka limits supply of petrol, diesel to tackle fuel crisis

Edited By: C Krishnasai
Colombo Updated: Apr 15, 2022, 07:37 PM(IST)

Fuel rationing Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Serpentine queues were witnessed outside several fuel retail outlets across the country. Many people complained of having to wait for hours to get petrol only to be returned empty-handed

Sri Lanka on Friday limited the fuel supply for motorists with immediate effect as low foreign reserves continued to cripple the island nation from importing several essential items.

According to the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), people with two-wheelers will be allowed to buy petrol for a maximum of 1,000 Sri Lankan rupees (US$3), per visit.

While three-wheelers will be able to get 1,500 Sri Lankan rupees worth of fuel (petrol or diesel) and cars, vans, and jeeps for up to 5,000 Sri Lankan rupees.

However, these limits would not be applicable to buses, lorries and other commercial vehicles.

Meanwhile, serpentine queues were witnessed outside several fuel retail outlets in Ceylon. Many people complained of having to wait for hours to get petrol only to be returned empty-handed.

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Meanwhile, Chairman of state-owned Litro Gas, Theshara Jayasinghe tendered his resignation to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Citing multiple reasons, such as the gas crisis and the present state of affairs as well as his personal policies, Theshara Jayasinghe said he decided to step down with effect from April 14, 2022.

Since February, Sri Lanka has been facing fuel scarcity after the government ran out of dollars to import fuel.

The shortage had forced the government to impose extended power cuts, sometimes up to 13 hours per day.

Tensions over the scarcity of supplies have led to sporadic violence among those scrambling to buy fuel and other essential items.

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The rapid drain of Sri Lanka’s dollars has left it struggling to pay for critical imports as currency reserves have slumped 70 per cent in the last two years to $2.31 billion.

The move to impose fuel rationing system comes three days after Sri Lanka announced a pre-emptive default on all its foreign loans due to insufficient reserves.

Also read | Sri Lanka crisis: Govt trying to hold on to power, cricket icon Arjuna Ranatunga tells WION

Finance Minister Ali Sabry, ministry officials and Central Bank officials are expected to begin talks with the International Monetary Fund on Monday for a loan to manage the balance of payment crisis.

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