Want petrol? Get a token first! Sri Lanka’s new policy to ration fuel

New Delhi: Kanchana Wijesekera, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Power and Energy, announced on Sunday (June 26) that fuel stations across the country will begin issuing tokens to customers on Monday due to limited supplies. Wijesekera told journalists in Colombo that the Sri Lankan Army and police would be called in, and that token numbers would be given to the public to fill up on petrol and diesel because supplies were limited, according to the Xinhua news agency. The public was asked to register their mobile phone numbers at their nearest filling stations, and they would be notified once their numbers were issued.

Wijesekera stated that the arrival date of the next fuel shipment into the country was unknown, but that two Ministers would travel to Russia on Monday to discuss fuel imports. (ALSO READ: New Labour Law: Workers could get paid for unused leaves in same year! Check details)

The Minister had announced a day earlier that the island nation would not receive shipments of gasoline, diesel, and crude oil scheduled for this week and next. (ALSO READ: Trustworthiness, decisive leadership has led to India’s growth: Piyush Goyal)

He stated that suppliers had informed the state-owned fuel importer and distributor Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) that they would not be able to make the scheduled deliveries, with the ongoing banking and logistical issues.

Wijesekera said that until the next shipments arrive, public transportation, power generation, and industries would be prioritised. 

For weeks, Sri Lankans have been queuing outside fuel stations as the country faces its worst-ever economic crisis, resulting in a shortage of essentials. The CPC and Lanka IOC, Sri Lanka’s two fuel distributors, announced on Sunday that they had raised fuel prices for the fourth time this year.

The CPC stated earlier this month that it only had 5,000 metric tonnes of petrol and that only 500 metric tonnes would be released to fuel stations each day.

The country currently requires at least $5 billion over the next six months to cover basic necessities like food, fuel, and fertiliser.

— With IANS inputs.