Petrol pumps in Sri Lanka have received aid from India to fund the country’s fuel purchases as the island nation struggles to weather its worst energy and financial crisis in many decade.
Sri Lanka may soon run out of diesel by the end of April as the country continues to grapple with its worst economic crisis in decades. The island nation recently received fuel aid from India, which could run out in the next few weeks. India has provided diesel, one of the largest lifelines for power generation besides operating public transport in Sri Lanka, with a $500 million line of credit. The help comes after the Sri Lankan government reported an unprecedented shortage of foreign exchange reserves.
Sri Lanka, facing its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, has largely depended on its neighbor to bail it out of its fuel crisis. The crisis has not only resulted in the suspension of public transport in some places, but also forced many gas pumping stations to close. This has led to a major power crisis in the island nation over the past few weeks.
Fuel shipments to the country began arriving late last month when the country ran out of diesel completely, according to a Reuters report citing Sri Lankan officials. This shipment was previously scheduled from this month. India is expected to send three more shipments of diesel fuel to Sri Lanka between April 15 and April 23. However, there are concerns that Lankan fuel stations may be damaged. completely exhausted by that time.
The fuel crisis in Sri Lanka continues despite the country having an oil refinery. The ongoing economic crisis has resulted in it having to close twice since last November due to the government’s inability to pay for imports of diesel and other fuels. It has also led to the closure of a number of thermal power plants for not using diesel to generate electricity.
In India too, fuel prices have been on the rise since oil companies started adjusting petrol and diesel prices on a daily basis since March 22. In 14 increases in the last 18 days, gasoline prices and diesel has increased. 10 per liter.
Date of first publication: April 8, 2022, 10:41 AM IST