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Sri Lanka is left with fuel stocks for five days as economic crisis worsens

Sri Lanka is left with fuel stocks for five days, as the country urgently awaits a new credit line from India for fuel. 

Sri Lanka is unable to make $725 million in overdue payments to suppliers and also struggling to open letters of credit for future shipments, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said. The minister then went on to note that the country only has five days worth of petrol and diesel in stock and that supplies could run out faster if non-essential travel was not cut back on. 

"We are struggling to get fuel supplies due to our forex issues and the government is working to manage existing stocks of diesel and petrol until 21 June," he told reporters. "We are finding it very difficult to meet demand and stocks could run out faster if we do not cut back on non-essential travel and stop hoarding fuel."

Chronic petrol shortages have worsened this week with kilometres-long lines at some gas stations countrywide. In response to the dwindling supplies, the Sri Lankan government has announced a two-week shutdown, encouraging all public sector employees to work from home, as a fuel shortage amidst the island’s economic crisis has brought many forms of transport to a grinding halt.

Sri Lanka is waiting for official confirmation on a USD $500 million credit line from the India's government's Exim Bank, which will be used to purchase more fuel. 

India has been a key supporter during the financial crisis, having poured in about USD $3 billion in assistance, including a USD $1 billion credit line for essential imports and a USD $400 million swaps. Sri Lanka has also reached out to multiple counties, including Russia, to discuss fuel imports. 

Read more at Reuters

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