Colombo [Sri Lanka], June 26 (ANI): Amid the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, the country's Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera on Sunday announced that the fuel stations across the country will issue tokens for consumers from Monday, as only limited stocks of fuel were available.
"The assistance of the Sri Lankan army and police had been sought and token numbers would be given to the public to fill petrol and diesel as only limited quantities were available," Wijesekera said.
The public was requested to register their mobile numbers at their nearest filling stations and once their numbers were issued, they would be notified, Xinhua News Agency reported.
The minister further said that the date of the arrival of the next fuel shipments in the county was unsure, but the two ministers would leave for Russia on Monday to discuss fuel imports from Russia and other related matters.
Sri Lanka's fuel distributors, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Lanka IOC gas on Sunday announced to increase the fuel prices. This is the fourth time the fuel prices in the country were raised.
A litre of Petrol 92 Octane has been increased by Rs 50 while a litre of Petrol 95 Octane by Rs. 100, the auto diesel has also been increased by Rs 60 and a litre of Super Diesel has been increased by Rs. 75, Daily Mirror reported.
Accordingly, the new price of a litre of Petrol Octane 92 is Rs 470 and Octane 95 is Rs 550.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka decided to limit fuel for private vehicles as the fuel shortage continues to worsen in the Island nation.
Wijesekera on Saturday said that suppliers have informed state-owned fuel importer and distributor Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) that they will not make the scheduled deliveries due to banking and logistic reasons.
"Sri Lanka will not receive shipments of petrol, diesel and crude oil, scheduled for this week and next week," the minister said.
In a statement, Wijesekera said that public transportation, power generation and industries would be given priority until the next shipments arrive. Therefore, limited stocks of diesel and petrol will be distributed to a few gas stations throughout next week.
The minister urged the general public not to queue up for fuel., adding that the refinery operations will also be halted until the next crude shipment arrives.
"We are working with all new and existing suppliers. I apologize for the delay and inconvenience," he said.
Notably, Sri Lanka has been facing the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, leading to an acute shortage of essential items like food, medicine, cooking gas and fuel across the island nation.
The nearly-bankrupt country, with an acute foreign currency crisis that resulted in foreign debt default, had announced in April that it is suspending nearly USD 7 billion foreign debt repayment due for this year out of about USD 25 billion due through 2026. Sri Lanka's total foreign debt.
The economic crisis has particularly impacted food security, agriculture, livelihoods, and access to health services. Food production in the last harvest season was 40 - 50 per cent lower than last year, and the current agricultural season is at risk, with seeds, fertilizers, fuel and credit shortages.
Sri Lanka is one of the few nations named by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which is expected to go without food due to the global food shortage expected this year. (ANI)