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Minister: Sri Lanka is struggling to secure a fresh fuel supply

Sri Lanka is struggling to secure a supply of fresh fuel, a senior government official said on Sunday. Gasoline and diesel to continue to perform essential services in the coming days.

The island has been hit by the worst financial crisis in 70 years, with record low foreign exchange reserves and struggling to pay for important imports such as fuel, food and medicine. increase.

"We are having a hard time finding a supplier. They are reluctant to accept letters of credit from banks. Supplier is prepaid because the delinquency is over $ 700 million. "I hope," Kanchana Wijesekera, Minister of Electricity and Energy, told reporters. ..

In the last two months, Sri Lanka has received most of its fuel through a $ 500 million Indian credit line that was exhausted in mid-June. According to Wijesekera, the gasoline shipment scheduled for last Thursday has not arrived and no new shipments are yet planned.

"We have about 9,000 metric tons of diesel and 6,000 metric tons of gasoline left. We are doing everything we can to get new inventory, but we don't know when."

However, Sri Lanka also raised fuel prices by 12% to 22% early on Sunday. The May price hike pushed inflation up to 45.3%, the highest since 2015. Regarding public transport, power generation and medical services, according to Wijesekera.

He says troops already deployed at gas stations to calm anxiety will now issue tokens to people who have been waiting for days at times, and ports and airports are fueled. Added that given.

Separately, the government called on about one million civil servants to work from home on Sunday until further notice.

The US Treasury and State Department Supreme Delegations arrived in Colombo on Sunday for a three-day visit to assess the situation. The International Monetary Fund team is already in Sri Lanka to discuss the possibility of a $ 3 billion bailout package. Read the full text