Sri Lanka loses power over foreign exchange crisis

Colombo falls – As the country continues to plunge into decades of economic crisis, officials in Sri Lanka are stepping up power outages, leading to fuel shortages and frequent power outages.

The Sri Lankan Public Utilities Commission will close the grid for four hours and 40 minutes due to a shortage of 540 megawatts, officials at the Ceylon Electric Board said.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa convened a special cabinet meeting on Tuesday to discuss energy shortages and fuel shortages.

Excessive foreign exchange reserves have prevented oil and other essentials from entering the country. The Sri Lankan government acknowledged on Monday that it had lost money to buy fuel due to the drying up of pumps at most gas stations in the country. Sri Lanka’s current economic situation is so dire that it does not even have enough US dollars to sell two trucks.

“Two oil tankers have arrived today but we have not been able to pay,” said Sri Lankan Energy Minister Udaya Gamanpila.

Last week, the state-controlled Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) said it had lost money to buy goods from abroad. A.D. In 2021, the CPC lost $ 415 million as a result of the government’s sale of diesel.

“I was warned twice in January and once earlier this month about the oil crisis due to the dollar crisis,” Gamanpilla said.

Sri Lanka’s worsening foreign exchange deficit has severely affected the energy sector, which is largely dependent on imports for its oil needs. Fuel shortages have led to long queues at pumps across the country. Fuel shortages have shut down at least three power plants, according to CEB.

The Sri Lankan government has decided not to increase oil prices at a special cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Energy Minister Mahinda Amarawera said. He also said that the Ministry of Finance has agreed to repay the 80 billion rubles debt owed to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation by Ceylon Electric Board.

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka bought 40,000 metric tons of diesel and gasoline from India’s largest oil company, India’s largest oil company, to meet its emergency supply needs.

“India is a committed partner and a true friend of Sri Lanka. The High Commissioner (Gopal Baglay) has delivered 40,000 MT of fuel to an Indian oil company,” the Indian High Commission said in a statement.

The offer was made during a two-week visit to India by Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa to prepare a package for India’s economic crisis.

Last month, India announced a $ 900 million loan to Sri Lanka to rebuild its depleted reserves and import food.

An agreement reached earlier this month to provide $ 500 million in oil loans to Sri Lanka is part of a package of accelerated economic relief.

Another key foreign exchange earner, tourism, has been stabilized by the epidemic.

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