Colombo [Sri Lanka], June 25 (ANI): Sri Lanka has decided to limit fuel for private vehicles as the fuel shortage continues to worsen in the Island nation.
Sri Lanka will not receive the shipments of petrol, diesel and crude oil, scheduled for this week and next week due to banking and logistic reasons.
"Sri Lanka will not receive shipments of petrol, diesel and crude oil, scheduled for this week and next week," Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera said on Saturday.
The minister said that suppliers have informed state-owned fuel importer and distributor Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) that they will not make the scheduled deliveries due to banking and logistic reasons.
In a further statement, Wijesekera said that public transportation, power generation and industries would be given priority until the next shipments arrive. Therefore, limited stocks of diesel and petrol will be distributed to a few gas stations throughout next week.
The minister urged the general public not to queue up for fuel., adding that the refinery operations will also be halted until the next crude shipment arrives.
"We are working with all new and existing suppliers. I apologize for the delay and inconvenience," he said.
Sri Lanka has been facing the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, leading to an acute shortage of essential items like food, medicine, cooking gas and fuel across the island nation.
The nearly-bankrupt country, with an acute foreign currency crisis that resulted in foreign debt default, had announced in April that it is suspending nearly USD 7 billion foreign debt repayment due for this year out of about USD 25 billion due through 2026. Sri Lanka's total foreign debt.
The economic crisis has particularly impacted food security, agriculture, livelihoods, and access to health services. Food production in the last harvest season was 40 - 50 per cent lower than last year, and the current agricultural season is at risk, with seeds, fertilizers, fuel and credit shortages.
Sri Lanka is one of the few nations named by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which is expected to go without food due to the global food shortage expected this year.
A total of 22 per cent of the Sri Lankan population or 4.9 million people live in need of food assistance at the moment and as per the latest surveys, 86 per cent of households are using at least one coping mechanism such as reducing food intake, including skipping meals. (ANI)