Sri Lanka has less than a day’s worth of fuel left: Minister

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka worth less than a day fuel The Energy Secretary said on Sunday that even the cash-strapped nation extended school closures for a week because there was not enough fuel for teachers and parents to bring their children to class. Queues for petrol and diesel stretched for kilometers through the capital, although most pumping stations had been without fuel for days.
Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said the domestic petroleum reserve is 4,000 tons, just below the one-day consumption. He said: “The next gasoline shipment is expected between the 22nd and 23rd (July). “We’ve been in contact with other suppliers, but we can’t confirm new supplies before the 22nd.” Last week, Sri Lanka announced a two-week halt to all fuel sales except essential services to save petrol and diesel for emergencies.
Most shops were closed on Sunday, with the situation expected to worsen when banks and offices reopen on Monday. Desperate people were seen trying to flag down some of the vehicles on the road hoping to get a ride. Privately owned buses, which make up two-thirds of the country’s fleet, said they operated the skeleton service on Sunday as hard hit by fuel shortages.
Last month, schools nationwide were closed for a day due to lack of fuel and have remained closed for the past two weeks in urban areas. Schools will be closed until Friday. Meanwhile, the Energy Minister urged foreigners to send money home through banks to finance new oil purchases. “Finding money is a challenge. It’s a huge challenge,” says Wijesekera.

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