Sri Lanka faces diesel shortage as foreign exchange crisis worsens

Sri Lanka has been suffering a diesel shortage since February, which led to hours of daily power cuts.
Sri Lanka faces diesel shortage as foreign exchange crisis worsens
Police use water cannon on demonstrators during a protest near the Sri Lankan Parliament (Photo Credit: Reuters)

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera on Thursday said the country is facing a shortage of diesel as the foreign exchange crisis worsens in the South Asian country.

The minister told parliament that the country needs 4,000 metric tons of diesel per day. However, the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is currently only releasing 1,000 to 1,500 metric tons a day, Xinhua news agency reported.

Currently, there is no shortage of petrol supply in the country, he said, adding that around 3,000 metric tons of petrol has been released on a daily basis, and that a ship carrying 40,000 metric tons of petrol arrived in Sri Lanka on Wednesday night.

Sri Lanka has been suffering a diesel shortage since February, which led to hours of daily power cuts.

Finance Minister Ali Sabry said on Wednesday that Sri Lanka only has less than 50 million U.S. dollars in usable foreign reserves.

Sri Lanka is struggling with acute food and electricity shortages, forcing the country to seek help from its neighbours.

The recession is attributed to foreign exchange shortages caused by a clampdown on tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic. The country is unable to buy sufficient fuel and gas, while the people are being deprived of basic amenities as well.

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