Sri Lanka Halts Petrol Sale to Non-essentials

Image Source: New Process from Home

Due to its most significant economic crisis in decades, Sri Lanka has halted the selling fuel for non-essential cars. 

Only buses, trains, and vehicles used for providing medical care and moving food will be permitted to refuel during the course of the following two weeks. Urban schools have closed, and the 22 million people who live there have been ordered by authorities to work from home. 

As it struggles to pay for imports like petroleum and food, the South Asian country is in negotiations for a bailout arrangement.  The government announced on Monday that until July 10th, private automobiles will not be allowed to purchase gasoline or diesel. 

Sri Lanka “has never encountered such a serious economic crisis in its history,” according to Bandula Gunewardena, a spokesperson for the cabinet. 

The cash-strapped nation has also dispatched representatives to Qatar and Russia, two key energy producers, in an effort to obtain inexpensive oil supplies. 

The pandemic, rising energy costs, and populist tax cuts have severely impacted Sri Lanka’s economy. In addition, an extreme lack of food, fuel, and medications has aided in driving up the cost of life to record levels because there isn’t enough foreign currency to pay for imports of necessities. 

According to officials over the weekend, only 9,000 tonnes of diesel and 6,000 tonnes of gasoline are available in the nation to critical power services in the coming days. Under normal demand, it is predicted that the inventories would last less than a week. 

Power and energy minister Kanchana Wijesekera told reporters on Sunday, “We are trying everything we can to get new stocks, but we don’t know when that will occur. Fuel limitations are “yet another minor symptom of a growing crisis,” senior economist at Oxford Economics Alex Holmes told the BBC. 

“People were standing in [large] lines for petrol, suggesting that mobility had already been severely restricted. But the entire prohibition of private vehicles goes beyond and will make the economic hardship worse, “he said 

The nation experienced its first-ever default on its debts to foreign lenders in May. 

A team from the International Monetary Fund arrived in Sri Lanka last week to hold discussions about a $3 billion (£2.4 billion) bailout package. 

In order to import necessities, the government is also requesting help from China and India. The country needs at least $5 billion over the next six months to pay for necessities like food, fuel, and fertilizer, according to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s earlier this month statement. 

In recent weeks, the government has also urged farmers to increase their rice production and offered government employees an extra day off each week to help with food production out of concern for a shortage.

Opinions expressed by San Francisco Post contributors are their own.

Anthony Carter

I’m Anthony and I finished my degree graduate studies on Public Administration and I spend most of my free time in contributing written works about community development, public administration and lifestyle.

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