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Sri Lanka may exhaust $500 million line of credit from India for fuel purchase this month; Colombo seeks further assistance

The crisis has also rocked the country’s political leadership as they face nationwide protests seeking the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa—a demand the government has refused to entertain

Apr 08, 2022
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Sri Lanka may exhaust  $500 million line of credit from India for fuel purchase this month

The $500 million line of credit that India had extended to crisis-hit Sri Lanka for the purchase of fuel is likely to exhaust by the month-end and officials in Colombo are reportedly seeking further similar facilities from New Delhi. Meanwhile, there has been an acute shortage of medicines and other essentials in the country.

Under the line of credit facility offered by India, Sri Lanka has so far received 80,868 tons of diesel and 66,485 tons of petrol, and another 120,000 tons of diesel and 35,000 tons of petrol are expected in the remaining period of this month. With these deliveries, Colombo will exhaust $468 million of the $500 million credit facility, reported Daily Mirror.

Forex-starved Sri Lanka has been struggling to import fuel, food, and other essentials, and seeking external bilateral and multilateral assistance to tackle the crisis. However, experts have warned the situation will deteriorate in the coming months.

The crisis has also rocked the country’s political leadership as they face nationwide protests seeking the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa—a demand the government has refused to entertain.

Meanwhile, hospitals are curtailing the number of surgeries amid a shortage of medicines, equipment, reagents, and other consumables. In a letter to President Rajapaksa, the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has warned, “This is not at all a sound policy as, what is considered non-emergency situations could turn into life-threatening problems within a few hours.”   

The situation, if not controlled, the SLMC warned, could result in a catastrophic number of deaths, which is likely to be in excess of the combined death toll of COVID, tsunami, and the Civil War.”

Similarly, the country’s several national sports associations are unable to participate in international tournaments, citing difficulties in getting credit facilities from banks. Private bus operators have also suspended operations on Monday and Tuesday next week, citing the fuel crisis.

(SAM)

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