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Sri Lanka energy crisis: country struggling to secure fresh fuel supplies, minister says

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The island is wilting beneath its worst financial crisis in seven many years with overseas trade reserves at file lows leaving it scrambling to pay for important imports together with gasoline, meals and drugs.

“We’re struggling to search out suppliers. They’re reluctant to just accept letters of credit score from our banks. There are over $700 million in overdue funds so now suppliers need advance funds,” Energy and Vitality Minister Kanchana Wijesekera informed reporters.

Up to now two months Sri Lanka largely recieved gasoline by way of a $500 million Indian credit score line, which ran out in mid-June. A petroleum cargo due final Thursday did not arrive and no contemporary shipments are but scheduled, Wijesekera stated.

“We now have about 9,000 metric tons of diesel and 6,000 metric tons of petrol left. We’re doing all the pieces we will to get new shares however we do not know when that might be.”

Nonetheless, Sri Lanka additionally applied a 12%-22% gasoline value enhance within the early hours of Sunday. A value hike in Could pushed inflation to 45.3%, the very best since 2015.

Individuals, already ready in miles-long, snaking queues exterior pumps, are unlikely to get gasoline as the federal government will concentrate on issuing the remaining shares for public transport, energy era and medical companies, Wijesekera stated.

The army, which has already been deployed at gasoline stations to quell unrest, will now difficulty tokens to these ready, generally for days, he stated, including that ports and airports might be given gasoline rations.

Individually, the federal government on Sunday requested about a million public workers to do business from home till additional discover.

A delegation from the US Treasury and State Departments arrived in Colombo for a three-day go to on Sunday to evaluate the scenario. An staff from the Worldwide Financial Fund is already in Sri Lanka for talks on a doable $3 billion bailout package deal.