Colombo, June 26 (newswire): The Sri Lankan Minister of Energy Kanchana Wijesekara held a press briefing earlier on Sunday to update on the current fuel situation in the country.
Below are 9 key points from the press conference:
1. Foreign banks don’t accept LCs opened by local banks due to lower sovereign rating of the country. Therefore, it has become difficult to open LCs for fuel purchases.
2. Suppliers are reluctant to sell fuel to Sri Lanka due to the risk involved. Some not even willing to supply for cash.
3. Ordered latest Petrol shipment has been cancelled as new supplier had asked for advanced payment even before ship reached Sri Lankan waters.
4. Ministry working with new suppliers and foreign countries to secure the next shipment. Minister unable to confirm an arrival date until a deal is finalized
5. Sri Lanka unable to find required funds to meet the monthly $650 million for fuel imports. Fuel consumption has to be reduced to $350 million to manage the situation.
6. Public requested not to queue up for fuel as stocks are very limited. From tomorrow, a token system will be introduced with military help, to manage existing queues.
7. Government plans to introduce more fuel distributors similar to Lanka OIC as CPC not in a position to meet requirements in the future.
8. Education minister request to close down schools for next 2 weeks as well. Government and private sector employees encouraged to work from home.
9. Minister Kanchana Wijesekara to fly to Qatar tomorrow (27) to discuss fuel imports among other things, on the invitation of Qatari Emir. Two Ministers to fly to Russia to discuss on fuel import possibilities.