Sri Lanka struggling to pay for fuel shipments, minister says
Sri Lanka is struggling to raise $587 million to pay for about half a dozen fuel shipments, a top minister said on Sunday as the cash-strapped country tries to cope with its worst financial crisis in decades.
The country of 22 million people is unable to pay for essential import of food items, fertiliser, medicines and fuel due to a severe dollar crunch.
Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said new fuel shipments were being lined up but the country is struggling to raise enough funds to pay as the central bank can supply only about $125 million.
Sri Lanka only has 12,774 tons of diesel and 4,061 tons of petrol left in its government reserves, he told reporters in Colombo, the commercial centre of the island nation.
“This week we will need $316 million to pay for new shipments. If we add two crude oil shipments this amount shoots up to $587 million,” Wijesekera said.
The first shipment of 40,000 tons of diesel from Coral Energy is expected to arrive around July 9 and partial payment of $49 million has to be made for a second one from Vitol by Thursday.
Faced with severely limited diesel and petrol stocks Sri Lanka last week closed schools, asked public employees to work from home and restricted government fuel supplies to essential services.
The minister said the country will have to attempt to raise funds from the open market and seek more flexible payment options from suppliers.
Plans to settle the $800 million owed to seven suppliers for purchases made this year were being discussed, he said.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials will continue to hold talks with Sri Lanka for a possible $3 billion bailout package, the global lender said last week after wrapping up a 10-day visit to Colombo.
However, immediate release of funds from the IMF is unlikely because the country has first to get its debt on to a sustainable path.
Dear Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera,
Where are you living? in LA LA LAND?
You dreaming of USD 587m, my dear Sir?
Sir, the CBSL Boss does not have even USD 5 !!!
From Jan to May 2022, SL Export earning = USD500m
Worker remittances = USD250m
Where has all this money gone?
Ask your Finance Minister, Ranil Rajapaksa and CBSL Boss, to account for this money.
Young Man, Mr Minister,
Why are you operating a special petrol pump in Sapugaskanda for the scum of the earth to fill their V8’s?
No line there my Dear Sir, only for politicians, Ministry Secretary’s and Chairman of Govt Corporations and important officers advising Big People.
Sir, make sure your amude is tight while lying.
Good advice to the Young Minister, Punya,
Unless the amude is tight while lying, the shxt will hit the ceiling fan !!!!