Crisis-hit Sri Lanka has begun rationing fuel for vehicles

Colombo:

Sri Lanka’s state-owned oil company announced the implementation of fuel rationing for vehicles starting on Friday as a historic economic crisis engulfed the country.

Motorbikes and other two-wheelers can now buy fuel worth up to Rs 1,000 per visit to petrol stations, according to a statement from the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC).

Likewise, tricycles can be purchased for Rs 1,500 worth of fuel, while cars, jeeps and vans can be purchased for up to Rs 5,000. Buses, trucks and commercial vehicles have been exempted from rationing.

The long queues at the gas station have caused huge public outrage. In addition, households are experiencing power outages for nearly 12 hours due to the devaluation of the Sri Lankan rupee, and there is a severe shortage of necessities.

The island nation is in the midst of one of the worst economic crises on record. It had just defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time since independence.

The Galleface protests in Colombo entered its seventh day on Friday, with more and more young people joining in every day. They urged President Gotabaya to resign for his inability to the worst economic crisis the island has ever seen.

Protests have been taking place on social media, urging young people to gather in Galle face. In addition, protests continued across the island, accusing the government of mishandling foreign currency.

CPC Chairman Sumith Wijesinghe reporters last week that the company was losing 800 million to 1 billion rupees a day on fuel subsidies due to high market prices and the depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee.

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Mr Wijesinghe said CPC lost Rs 110 per litre of diesel and Rs 52 per litre of petrol.

“We are discussing another $500 million oil credit line with India,” Mr Wijesinghe said. India last month gave Sri Lanka $500 million to help the country buy oil.


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