Despite India’s help, Sri Lanka may run out of fuel by the end of April.

Colombo: Sri Lanka may run out of diesel by the end of the month, as the USD 500 million line of credit given by India for fuel purchases is rapidly depleting, owing to the country’s unprecedented lack of foreign reserves.

Sri Lanka is in the midst of its biggest economic crisis since its 1948 independence from the United Kingdom.

People have been protesting for weeks due to prolonged power outages and a lack of petrol, food, and other basic necessities.

Almost all Cabinet ministers have resigned, and hundreds of MPs have defected from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s administration as a result of popular outrage.

Fuel supplies to Sri Lanka began in late March owing to the urgency of the situation, despite the fact that they were supposed to begin on April 1.

They added that three additional Indian shipments are scheduled on April 15, 18, and 23, and that the facility will be completely used by then unless the Sri Lankan government requested an extension from India.

Diesel is extensively utilized in the nation for public transportation and thermal power production.

The closure of a few thermal power plants owing to a scarcity of fuel has already resulted in daily power outages of more than 10 hours.

In November 2021, the country’s single refinery had to shut down twice due to a lack of funds to pay for imports.

Enraged citizens took to the streets in a never-ending agitation against the administration, demanding that it quit due to its ineptitude.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) has warned President Rajapaksa that the island nation’s forex-related economic crisis is causing a lack of even the most basic medications.

Medicine, equipment, and reagents, according to the SLMA, are in low supply in the health sector.

They’ve put a halt to normal surgery in order to free up resources for life-threatening crises.

It has requested a meeting with the president in order to develop a backup plan.

Separately, the Sri Lanka Joint Apparel Association Forum, which represents the garment export business, has written to Rajapaksa, pressing him to find short-term remedies to the current problem.

Many small firms have closed as a result of electricity and fuel shortages, according to the report.

Exports of clothing, mostly to the United States and the European Union, contribute for around 6% of GDP.

On Thursday night, a group of demonstrators attempted to burst through barriers in front of the Prime Minister’s Office and Residence, the Temple Trees in Colombo.

The government has accused the Opposition party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, of organizing the public demonstrations.

People joined rallies asking for Rajapaksa’s resignation despite the implementation of a state of emergency and a weekend curfew. Protesters even shut down the highways leading to Parliament.

After massive public rallies demanding his resignation, the President abolished the state of emergency late Tuesday night.

Despite his politically influential family being the target of popular ire, he and his older brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, continue to wield power in Sri Lanka.

President Rajapaksa has defended his government’s actions, claiming that the foreign currency issue was not his fault and that the economic slowdown was mostly caused by a pandemic, with tourist earnings and inbound remittances declining.

As the island nation fought to overcome its worst financial and energy crises in decades, India granted a USD 500 million credit line to Sri Lanka in February to pay the country’s gasoline imports.

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