Sri Lanka cuts petrol, diesel prices by 20 rupees per litre amid economic crisis

Published on Jul 18, 2022 01:09 PM IST

Many people in Sri Lanka are ditching their cars and motorcycles for bicycles for their daily commute to avoid the huge queues at fuel stations.

Sri Lankans wait in queue to buy petrol at a fuel station, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)(AP)
Sri Lankans wait in queue to buy petrol at a fuel station, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)(AP)

Petrol, diesel prices were reduced in crisis-hit Sri Lanka Sunday as state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the Lanka Indian Oil Corporation (LIOC) sought to give some relief to people forced to wait in kilometres-long queues every day.

Local reports say Octane 92 petrol now costs 450 Sri Lankan rupees per lite - a reduction of 20 rupees. Octane 95 petrol is sold at 540 rupees per litre - down by 10 rupees.

Diesel prices have been slashed too - by 20 rupees per litre to 440 rupees. Super diesel prices have cut by 10 rupees - it is now 510 rupees a litre, according to local reports.

Sri Lanka has faced a crippling fuel shortage since February, coupled with a severe foreign exchange crisis that has led it to default on billions due in debt payments this year and struggle to buy basic goods like food and medicines.

The crisis has also prompted massive and violent protests from the citizens, triggering political unrest that led to Gotabaya Rajapaksa - the former president - fleeing the country and appointing prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the acting leader.

The ongoing fuel shortage - which persists despite supply extended by India - means many Lankans are now ditching their cars and motorcycles in favour of bicycles.

Meanwhile, last week the country's power and energy ministry introduced a new system to ensure equal distribution of fuel; this kicks in from Thursday.

Both the CPC and the LIOC have said they will take part in the scheme.

Late last month the CPC had stopped distributing fuel to private vehicles. It will resume distribution after the arrival of further petrol and diesel shipments.

Sri Lanka has seen its currency depreciate by 80 per cent since March.

(With agency inputs)

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