India to send last shipment of fuel to Sri Lanka in Junetext_fields
COLOMBO: The final fuel export under the Indian Line of Credit is due to arrive in Sri Lanka this month, with no indication of a future supply which is dependent on Indian aid.
The economic crisis has led to severe shortages of essential items such as food, medicine, cooking gas, other fuels, toilet paper and matchboxes, forcing Sri Lankans to wait in line for hours outside stores for months to buy fuel and cooking gas.
Kanchana Wijesekara, the energy minister told reporters, "We are expecting the last diesel shipment under ILC (Indian Line of Credit) on June 16 and the last petrol shipment on June 22".
Sri Lanka's fuel purchases are entirely dependent on the ILC - initially with a credit line of $ 500 million and later with another $ 200 million.
The island also suffered from 10-hour long power cuts due to shortages of diesel and furnace oil for power generation in April.
Wijesekara said that due to the power cut, there was a daily requirement of 5,000 metric tonnes (MT) of diesel per day as people needed to run private generators.
"We only issued between 2,800-3,000 MT on a priority basis last week," Wijesekara said adding that the full requirement of diesel per week is now being supplied.
He said the daily requirement of petrol was 3,500 MT.
"Since last Tuesday we have been issuing 3,000-3,200 MT daily".
He added that the situation with kerosene was more serious. Kerosene is used in fisheries and agriculture sectors.
"We are sending kerosene to selected fishing areas, kerosene supplies are being widely abused as some are using them to run vehicles," he said.
The government has said it is trying to extend credit lines from India for fuel purchases in view of difficulties in fuel supply.
In addition to food and medical supplies, India has helped Sri Lanka with thousands of tons of diesel and petrol to alleviate the country's severe fuel shortages.
The Indian High Commission here on Friday said in a statement, "It may be recalled that in line with its 'Neighbourhood First' policy and as an earnest friend and partner of Sri Lanka, India has extended multi-pronged assistance to the people of Sri Lanka in the last few months."
"The support from India ranges from economic assistance of close to USD 3.5 billion to helping secure Sri Lanka's food, health and energy security by supplying essential items like food, medicines, fuel, kerosene etc," it said.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday said no country other than India was giving money for fuel for the crisis-hit island nation.