Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s newly-elected Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Monday that the beleaguered island nation has run out of petrol and warned residents could face more difficulties in the coming months, Newswire reported.
“At the moment, we only have petrol stocks for a single day,” Wickremesinghe said in an address. “The next couple of months will be the most difficult ones. We must prepare ourselves to make some sacrifices and face the challenges of this period.”
Wickremesinghe said the country needed $75 million in foreign exchange to pay for essential imports. He said two shipments of petrol and two shipments of diesel using the Indian credit line could help bridge the shortfall in the next few days.
In his address, the Prime Minister also said that the country faces a shortage of 14 essential medicines.
On Monday, Wickremesinghe urged Sri Lankans to “patiently bear the next couple of months” and promised that he could overcome the economic meltdown. The prime minister said he had forced to permit printing money to pay state-sector employees and for essential goods and services.
On Monday, Wickremesinghe urged Sri Lankans to “patiently bear the next couple of months” and promised that he could overcome the economic meltdown.
“However, we must remember that printing money leads to the depreciation of the rupee,” he added. “Under the current circumstances, even the Petroleum Corporation and the Electricity Board cannot obtain rupees.”
Wickremesinghe warned that residents could suffer power outages for 15 hours a day. “The kerosene and furnace oil situation is even more urgent,” he said. “ At present, the Central Bank, local state and private banks, and foreign banks functioning in Sri Lanka face a dollar shortage. As you are already aware, we possess a meagre amount of US dollars.”