Quota on petrol? Sri Lanka plans fuel-rationing system amid mammoth shortage

Wait lines outside fuel stations in crisis-hit Sri Lanka are often in excess of 12 hours.
By : HT Auto Desk
| Updated on: 14 Jun 2022, 03:03 PM
File photo: People wait in a long queues to buy fuel for their vehicles at a filling station in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP)
File photo: People wait in a long queues to buy fuel for their vehicles at a filling station in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP)
File photo: People wait in a long queues to buy fuel for their vehicles at a filling station in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP)
File photo: People wait in a long queues to buy fuel for their vehicles at a filling station in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka continues to be in the middle of a crippling economic crisis and in the long list of some unprecedented woes is the crippling shortage of petrol and diesel. While prices have shot up to record highs in recent weeks, money alone won't guarantee a tankful because of the shortage in automotive fuels. As such, the country's government is now looking at fuel-rationing system under which consumers would be able to get a weekly fill of either petrol or diesel in a pre-defined quantity.

Petrol and diesel prices, much like prices of many essential commodities, have been at astronomical levels in Sri Lanka. But it is the shortage that is being cited as a bigger concern with long lines outside most fuel stations that still have stocks left. The situation in major cities is quite torrid but fuel stations at far-flung places are struggling with stocks even more. Some have reportedly even started mixing water or kerosene to the automotive fuel, raising quality-control issues. (Full report here)

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In order to better check on fuel adulteration and ensure that commuters are able to get fuel in a reasonable time frame, the government here is now mulling a fuel-rationing system. "We have no choice but to register consumers at filling stations and give them a guaranteed weekly quota until we are able to strengthen the financial situation, restore 24 Hour Power and a steady Supply of fuel. I hope to have this system in place by the 1st week of July," the country's Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera recently tweeted.

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There are reports that the shortage of fuel has led to instances of hoarding and stockpiling which are further hampering the possible return to some form of normalcy.

Northern neighbour India has come out to assist with Sri Lanka's entire fuel purchase entirely dependent on the Indian Line of Credit (ILC). “We are expecting the last diesel shipment under ILC on June 16 and the last petrol shipment on June 22," said Wijesekera.

First Published Date: 14 Jun 2022, 03:03 PM IST
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