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Unusual power outage in Sri Lanka; fuel and forex shortage cripples economy

Unusual power outage in Sri Lanka;  fuel and forex shortage cripples economy

Colombo: Suffering from severe shortage of fuel, which has triggered generl of hydro-electricity, the Sri Lankan government was forced to impose a nationwide power outage for 10 hours on Wednesday. .

Amidst the country's unprecedented financial and energy crisis resulting from foreign exchange deficit, key commodities have become unaffordable. IN parallel fuel shortages caused long queues lasting hours for fuel at petrol stations. And power cuts have also become a daily feature, but Wednesday's 10-hour outage turned out to be the worst.

The daily power cuts in the island nation have been further extended Wednesday morning to 10 hours, officials said.

All essentials are in short supply due to import restrictions forced by the forex crisis.

The country has been facing a seven-hour power outage since the beginning of the month.

There is a shortage of 750 megawatt due to non availability of fuel to generate thermal power, the chair of the Public Utilities Commission Janaka Ratnayaka said.

State-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has asked motorists not to queue outside fuel stations on Wednesday and Thursday to purchase diesel as it was unable to pay for a shipment that had arrived.

It was, however, not clear from where the shipment had arrived.

The CPC said the unloading of the ship would happen only on Friday.

Energy minister Gamini Lokuge said the government will make an urgent purchase of 6,000 metric tonnes of diesel from LIOC, the Lanka subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation.

It will be used for emergency services and power generation, he said.

Lokuge said a shipment of diesel under the Indian credit line was expected Thursday.

India recently announced an offer of USD 1 billion line of credit to Sri Lanka as part of its financial assistance to the country to deal with the economic crisis following a previous USD 500 million line of credit in February to help it purchase petroleum products.

During his just-concluded visit to Colombo, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had assured India's continued support in Sri Lanka's economic recovery process.

(Based on PTI feed)

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TAGS:Sri Lanka financial crisis fuel shortage due to forex deficit power outage queues at petrol stations 
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