CPC requests Rs. 217 bn for fuel imports

Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe said yesterday (7) that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has requested Rs. 217 billion from the Treasury Department for fuel imports. 

“The CPC has requested Rs. 217 billion from the Treasury Department as they need rupees to purchase US dollars (USD) for fuel imports. If the Treasury cannot provide this, they send this request to the CBSL. The Monetary Board has to decide whether to accept or reject the request,” said Dr. Weerasinghe, while addressing the media at the CBSL’s fifth Monetary Policy Review for 2022. 

Dr. Weerasinghe said that last week, the CBSL had given Rs. 18.5 billion to the CPC to release a shipment of fuel. “If we do not provide that money, there is no fuel in the country,” he said. 

Commenting on whether he believes that a fuel price increase would take place again in the near future, Dr. Weerasinghe said that since a barrel of crude oil has fallen to about $ 100 now, there will be a possible relief in the amount Sri Lanka will have to pay for fuel imports. 

Sri Lanka is facing its worst fuel shortage to date, with only a few thousand metric tonnes of petrol remaining with the CPC. As a result, the CPC has been unable to issue fuel to essential services while the privately run Lanka Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) too has rationed the amount of fuel issued to private consumers. 

Last week, Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera said that five fuel shipments are confirmed to arrive in the country later this month. 

On Wednesday (6), President Gotabaya Rajapaksa held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where he had requested a credit offer to import fuel to Sri Lanka. Two representatives from Russia arrived in the country yesterday. The Morning learnt that they were scheduled to hold discussions with President Rajapaksa, Wijesekera, and Dr. Weerasinghe last evening.

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