Sri Lanka seeks diesel from India to prevent power cuts during New Year
Colombo: Sri Lanka's power regulator has written a letter to India, seeking diesel shipment to avoid power cuts in the island country during the upcoming traditional New Year.
Janaka Ratnayake, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, wrote to the Indian High Commission, saying that the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year falls on April 13 and 14.
“..As the regulator of the electricity industry, it is our responsibility to ensure the uninterrupted power supply for the country during the period,” Ratnayake wrote to India's High Commissioner in Colombo Gopal Baglay, a media report said.
“Therefore the Commission expects your intervention in securing a diesel stock of 37,000 Metric tonnes on 10th or 11th of April 2022 through the Indian credit line for fuel,” he added.
The request comes even as India provided much-needed consignments of petrol and diesel to Sri Lanka on Wednesday to tide over the spiralling fuel crisis.
The Indian Embassy in Sri Lanka said in a tweet: “#Indian credit line for fuel at work!!! One consignment each of 36,000 MT petrol and 40,000 MT diesel was delivered to #SriLanka in the last 24 hours.
"Total supply of various types of fuel under Indian assistance now stands at more than 270,000 MT.”
#Indian credit line for fuel at work!!! One consignment each of 36,000 MT petrol and 40,000 MT diesel was delivered to #SriLanka in the last 24 hours. Total supply of various types of fuel under Indian assistance now stands at more than 270,000 MT. pic.twitter.com/QMO8fftnXA— India in Sri Lanka (@IndiainSL) April 6, 2022
Sri Lanka is facing severe forex shortages following two years of money printing to keep interest rates down.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's tea sector is in crisis with a diesel shortage hitting transport, as well as factories that are without diesel to run generators during long power cuts.
“The current situation on the shortage of fuel and electricity is major threat resulting in the disruption of daily activities in the Plantation Sector,” the Ceylon Tea Traders Association said.
“The transport of green leaf from the fields of the Tea Small Holders and Plantations to the factories are virtually bordering on collapse.
“The Manufacturers are unable to process the harvest on time due to lack of diesel for the generators.
“The likelihood of some factories closing down due to the current situation is real.”
Sri Lanka started printing money in early 2020 to create a 'production economy' blowing the balance of payments apart and bringing the country to near default.
(With UNI inputs)