Colombo, May 18 (Newswire) – Sri Lanka is in stock of essential Super Diesel and Auto Diesel at present, Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera announced today.
Providing an update on the fuel crisis in Sri Lanka, the Minister said that the Ministry is looking at completing the distribution of diesel to all 1190 key fuel stations in the country by this evening.
“We also intend to continue the distribution of the necessary stocks of diesel over the next few weeks,” he informed the Parliament today.
Commenting on the distribution of petrol, Minister Wijesekera said Sri Lanka does not possess the necessary stock of petrol as yet, stating there was a shortage of petrol in the country.
He said a vessel with petrol has been docked at the Colombo Port since 28th April, but the government has been unable to release it due to being unable to source the necessary dollars for payment.
Minister Kanchana WIjesekara also revealed that a previous payment of USD 53 million is due for a stock of fuel that was purchased in January this year, and the bank that is handling the transaction has refused to proceed until the previous and current payments are settled.
He said with the intervention of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, a mechanism has been introduced to settle the payments, while an agreement has also been made with the bank for the settlement of the two payments to release the ship.
The Minister of Energy further said that a proposal has been submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers on the ways in which necessary funds can be sourced to settle the payments.
“We expect the ship to be released by today or tomorrow. This is why the public was instructed not to stand in queues at fuel stations for petrol. There is no issue with diesel. However, we don’t have petrol. So please don’t stand in queues,” he requested from the public.
The Minister said measures have currently been taken to distribute petrol with a limited stock today and tomorrow, adding that it will only be provided for essential services.
“In the event, we get sufficient petrol, we will require at least three days from Friday to distribute it to all fuel stations. So, please don’t stand in queues at fuel stations for petrol,” he told the public.