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‘Complete economic collapse’: Sri Lanka now can’t buy fuel

The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka said that India will not be able to support his country indefinitely and that the economy is now starting at the bottom.

Via :
Automatic table HT

Update on:
June 22, 2022, 04:33 ONLY

File photo of people waiting to fill up at a gas station in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  (AP)
File photo of people waiting to fill up at a gas station in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP)

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament on Wednesday that the island nation’s economy ‘has completely collapsed’ and that the country will not be able to buy imported fuel because of the huge debts owed by the petrol corporation. the oil here has to bear. Until now, essential commodities such as gasoline, diesel, kerosene and even food have been scarce, but sky-high prices would mean nothing without them.

Wickremesinghe took office as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka a month ago and amid an unprecedented economic crisis sent the cost of goods soaring to record highs. So far, the country has managed to navigate very difficult waters thanks to a $4 billion line of credit. But Wickremesinghe admitted on Wednesday that India would not be able to provide support indefinitely. “Currently, Ceylon Oil and Gas Group is owed 700 million USD. Therefore, there is no country or organization in the world ready to fuel us. He told lawmakers they were even reluctant to fuel cash. about this opportunity. We are currently seeing signs of a possible bottoming out. “

Miles-long lines outside fuel stations have become a common sight in many Sri Lankan cities. Car drivers often have to wait up to 12 hours for a full tank of gas. Earlier this month, a fuel allocation system was announced while the country’s armed forces had previously been called in to maintain order due to sporadic incidents of violence and theft. There have also been concerns about the possibility of infidelity.

Sri Lanka has no oil reserves of its own and its economy is largely dependent on tourism, tea and rice production. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russo-Ukrainian war was a double blow for the country, which has seen massive protests that led to Mahinda Rajapaksa’s resignation.

Fuel can be seen as a luxury item at a time when even medicine is scarce. The country has received pledges of up to $600 million from the World Bank with officials expected to land here to discuss a rescue package.

(With input from AP)

Date of first publication: June 22, 2022, 04:20 PM IST

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