9 key takeaways from the fuel update Press briefing
Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara held a press briefing earlier today to provide an update on the current fuel situation in the country.
Here are 9 key points from the press conference:
1. Foreign banks do not accept letters of credit opened by local banks due to the country’s low sovereign rating. Therefore, it has become difficult to open LCs for fuel purchases.
2. Suppliers are reluctant to sell fuel in Sri Lanka because of the risk involved. Some are not even willing to provide money.
3. The last shipment of gasoline ordered was canceled because the new supplier requested advance payment before the ship even reached Sri Lankan waters.
4. The ministry is working with new suppliers and foreign countries to secure the next shipment. The minister is unable to confirm an arrival date until a deal is finalized
5. Sri Lanka unable to find funds to cover $650 million monthly for fuel imports. Fuel consumption must be reduced to 350 million to manage the situation.
6. The public asked not to queue for fuel as stocks are very limited. Starting tomorrow, a token system will be set up with the help of the military, to manage the existing queues.
7. The government is planning to introduce more fuel dispensers similar to Lanka OIC as CPC is unable to meet the requirements in the future.
8. The Minister of Education also asks to close the schools for the next 2 weeks. Government and private sector employees are encouraged to work from home.
9. Minister Kanchana Wijesekara will fly to Qatar tomorrow (27) to discuss fuel imports among others, at the invitation of the Emir of Qatar. Two ministers will visit Russia to discuss fuel import possibilities.