Sri Lanka has only five days worth of fuel
The power and energy minister of Sri Lanka said on Thursday that the country’s fuel stocks are expected to last for just about five more days. This comes as the Asian island nation is waiting for an official confirmation for a new credit line for fuel worth of $500 million from India.
Worsened economic crisis
The Asian nation with a population of 22 million people is struggling amid the most catastrophic financial crisis in last seven decades. This was after the country’s foreign exchange reserves stumbled down in record and dollars exhausting to pay for importing essentials including food, medicine and fuel.
The country’s chronic fuel shortages have further deteriorated this week as people line up in front of gas stations for miles, triggering sporadic protests across the country as people are out of patience waiting for essentials.
Sri Lanka is under foreign debt of $725 million, whicn is in overdue payments to suppliers. It is also struggling to open credit for future shipments, noted Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera. “We are struggling to get fuel supplies due to our forex issues and the government is working to manage existing stocks of diesel and petrol until June 21,” he told reporters. “We are finding it very difficult to meet demand and stocks could run out faster if we do not cut back on non-essential travel and stop hoarding fuel.”
“We are expecting a petrol shipment within the next three days and another two shipments in the next eight days,” he added.
Hope for credit line from India
Sri Lanka is waiting for an official confirmation from Indian government’s Exim Bank on a $500 million credit line. Wijesekera said it would be used to fund for fuel shipments for the coming few weeks. India, close neighbor and ally of Sri Lanka has been critical supporter during its financial crisis. India has brought in about $3 billion in assistance, that includes a $1 billion credit line for essential imports and a $400 million swap.