Colombo: Sri Lanka’s state-owned petroleum corporation announced fuel rationing for vehicles with effect from Friday, as an unprecedented economic crisis roils the country.
According to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) statement, now motorcycles and other two-wheelers can purchase fuel upto worth Rs 1,000 per visit to a fuel station.
Similarly, three-wheelers can purchase fuel worth Rs 1,500, cars, jeeps and vans upto Rs 5,000. Buses, lorries and commercial vehicles have been exempted from the rationing.
Long queues at fuel stations have resulted in massive public anger. Further, households are experiencing nearly 12-hour-long powercuts and there is a massive shortage of essentials, due to falling value of the Sri Lankan rupee.
The island nation is in the midst of one of the worst economic crises it has ever seen. It has just defaulted on its foreign debts for the first time since its independence.
The Galle Face protests in Colombo entered their seventh day on Friday with more and more youth joining it every passing day. They urge the resignation of President Gotabaya for his incompetence in handling the island’s worst-ever economic crisis.
The protest campaign has been running on social media, urging youths to gather at Galle Face. Besides, there have been continuing protests across the island, blaming the government for its mishandling of the forex.
The protesters have rejected talks with the government till the President and Prime Minister leave office.
CPC chairperson Sumith Wijesinghe last week told reporters the corporation was losing between Rs 800 million to Rs 1 billion every day on fuel subsidies due to high global market prices and the depreciation of the Sri Lankan Rupee.
Wijesinghe said the CPC was losing 110 rupees per litre on diesel and Rs 52 per litre on petrol.
Wijesinghe said, “We are in discussions with India for another oil credit line for 500 million dollars”. India last month extended USD 500 million to Sri Lanka, to help the country buy oil.