Colombo, March 18 (DailyMirror) – The government has been unable to clear two consignments of fuel consisting of diesel and jet fuel which is presently docked at the Colombo Port totalling to 42 million US dollars and due to the delay in clearance, the foreign company is now claiming a fee for demurrage, the Daily Mirror learns.
According to inside sources, the consignment consists of 22,000 metric tonnes of diesel and 22,000 metric tonnes of jet fuel, and it has been docked at the port for five days awaiting payment.
The Letters of Credit were opened for the purchase, but the government has been unable to provide the funds as yet leading to the company now claiming a fee for demurrage.
The government’s failure to clear this shipment has led to a severe shortage of diesel in the market, with queues lengthening further at all petrol stations in the country.
Presently payments have been released only to clear the gas shipments and the President’s Office said yesterday that unloading and distribution of domestic LP gas had recommenced after people had raised severe frustration at the lack of gas available in the market. This week, local primary gas suppliers Litro Gas Lanka and Laugfs Gas were compelled to suspend the operations due to the unavailability of stocks.
Meanwhile, senior sources at the BIA told Daily Mirror that airline operations were continuing and there was no shortage of jet fuel. However, if the present shipment of jet fuel is not cleared soon, then airline operations may be affected. (Jamila Husain)