India said on Monday it had delivered around 40,000 metric tons of gasoline to Sri Lanka, days after providing 40,000 metric tons of diesel under India’s line of credit to help ease the severe shortage. of fuel in the indebted island nation which is grappling with its worst economic crisis.
India extended an additional $500 million line of credit to Sri Lanka last month to help the neighboring country import fuel as it struggles to pay for imports after its foreign exchange reserves plummeted in recent months. recently, causing a devaluation of its currency and galloping inflation. .
“Commitment fulfilled!! About 40,000 tonnes of oil under Indian assistance arrived in Colombo today,” the Indian High Commission in Colmbo said in a tweet.
— India in Sri Lanka (@IndiainSL) May 23, 2022
India on Saturday provided an additional 40,000 metric tons of diesel to Sri Lanka under the credit line.
The Sri Lankan government has asked its non-essential staff to stay home due to gasoline and diesel shortages. Lawmakers have asked the Speaker of Parliament to accommodate them in hotels as they cannot reach Parliament from home without fuel.
A severe shortage of foreign exchange reserves has led to long queues for fuel, cooking gas and other necessities, while power cuts and soaring food prices have deepened misery Population.
In a tragic incident, a two-day-old baby died on Sunday due to his father’s inability to find petrol to take him to hospital from central Haldummullla hill in Badulla district.
The baby was found to be experiencing a yellow discoloration of her skin. His father could not find a vehicle to take him to the hospital due to the current fuel shortages in the country.
Dr Janaka Pathirana, the chief medical officer at Diyathalawa Hospital, said the death was preventable.
The Sri Lankan government has warned it will suspend fuel delivery if transporters are threatened, after an angry mob torched the home of a petrol pump owner in the country’s north-central province.
Spontaneous protests have been reported at gas stations across the country where consumers wait in long lines for fuel for hours.
Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said if the public continues to threaten truckers delivering the fuel, the government should suspend fuel deliveries for the safety of the transport workforce .
“It has been reported that organized groups are preventing tankers from passing certain areas by demanding that they be unloaded at various petrol stations and threatening to set them on fire. If this continues, we will have to suspend deliveries for the transportation workforce safety,” he tweeted on Friday.
An Indian fuel credit line has been in effect since February as Sri Lanka was unable to pay for fuel imports due to the currency crisis.
Earlier, India delivered 40,000 metric tons of diesel to Sri Lanka on April 2. This was the fourth Indian consignment of fuel delivered to Sri Lanka under the line of credit. India and Sri Lanka signed a $500 million line of credit agreement for the purchase of petroleum products on February 2, 2022.
With the economic crisis and shortage of foreign exchange, India’s $500 million line of credit for fuel imports has provided a lifeline for the island nation, which is currently going through the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948.
The economic crisis has also triggered a political crisis in Sri Lanka and a demand for the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The crisis forced Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president’s older brother, to step down as prime minister on May 9.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)