Lanka IOC, the subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation in Sri Lanka, will supply 6,000 MT of fuel to the island nation, to help ease its acute power shortage leading to upto 13-hour-long power cuts this week.
LIOC would supply the fuel to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation for onward release to the Ceylon Electricity Board, officials told The Hindu on Thursday. Meanwhile, a fourth consignment of fuel from India is expected to reach the island nation by this weekend, as part of the continuing supply supported by an Indian Line of Credit of $ 500 million.
The ongoing power disruptions, consequent to an acute fuel shortage, is one of many challenges to emerge in Sri Lanka’s persisting economic crisis, triggered by a balance of payments problem. On Thursday, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s office asked “non-essential” staff, totalling some 250 persons, to work from home until further notice to save fuel, an official said.
Reeling under the impact of the pandemic and the economic meltdown it accelerated months ago, Sri Lanka has sought assistance from difference sources, including India. In addition to fuel disruption and the power cuts, food items and medicines are in short supply, promoting some hospitals to put off surgeries.