Sri Lanka out of petrol, economy in a precarious condition: PM Ranil Wickremesinghe

  • Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was made the Prime Minister after Mahinda Rajapaksa put in his papers, proposed setting up of a national council of all political parties to find solutions to the ongoing crisis. He also proposed privatising the Sri Lanka airlines.
People wait in a queue to buy petrol at a closed fuel station, amid the country's economic crisis in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Monday. (REUTERS)
People wait in a queue to buy petrol at a closed fuel station, amid the country's economic crisis in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Monday. (REUTERS)
Updated on May 16, 2022 07:10 PM IST
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Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday said the island nation's economy was in a precarious condition and that the cash-strapped nation was currently out of petrol. 

"We have run out of petrol... At the moment, we only have petrol stocks for a single day," Wickremesinghe said, adding that his bankrupt country could face more hardships in the coming months.

Wickremesinghe, who was made the Prime Minister last week after Mahinda Rajapaksa put in his papers in the wake of continued protests over the economic situation, proposed setting up of a national council of all political parties to find solutions to the ongoing crisis.  He also proposed privatising the Sri Lanka airlines. 

Also read | Sri Lanka imposes nine-hour nationwide curfew amid protests

“At present, the Sri Lankan economy is extremely precarious. Although the former government’s budget projected revenue of SLR 2.3 trillion, SLR 1.6 trillion is the realistic projection of this year’s revenue,” the PM said in Colombo.

Stating that there was shortage of 14 essential drugs and inflation was likely to go up in the short term, the PM said, "We have to continue printing monet to pay salaries and for essentials.

He added that two more petrol and diesel shipments were due using Indian credit line. 

“In November 2019, our foreign exchange reserves were at $7.5 billion. However, today, it is a challenge for the treasury to find $1 million. The Ministry of finance is finding it difficult to raise $5 million required to import gas,” he added. 

(With agency inouts)

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Monday, June 27, 2022