Record rise in fuel prices amid the country’s worst economic crisis due to a shortage of foreign exchange reserves, crisis-stricken Sri Lanka today raised petrol prices by 24.3 per cent and diesel by 38.4 per cent.
With fuel prices rising for the second time since April 19, the most widely used octane 92 petrol will now be priced at Rs 420 (USD 1.17) and diesel at Rs 400 (USD 1.11) per liter, the highest ever.
The state energy agency, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has decided to increase the price of Octane 92 petrol by 24.3 per cent or Rs 82 and diesel by 38.4 per cent or Rs 111 per liter.
“Fuel prices will be revised from 3 am today. The fuel pricing formula that was approved by the cabinet was applied to revise the prices,” Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara said on Twitter.
“Price revisions include all costs of import, unloading, delivery to stations and taxes.
“The cabinet has approved the revision of transport and other service charges accordingly. The formula will be applied every fortnightly or monthly,” he said.
This has been exacerbated by the long line of people suffering at deficient fuel stations.
Lanka IOCO, a Sri Lankan affiliate of Indian oil major Indian Oil Corporation, has raised the retail price of fuel.
Manoj Gupta, CEO of LIOC, told Press Trust of India, “We have increased our prices in line with CPC.”
Autorickshaw operators, meanwhile, have said they will increase tariffs by Rs 90 per kilometer for the first kilometer and Rs 80 for the second kilometer.
As a cost-cutting measure, the government has announced that the heads of organizations will be given discretion to physically report any employees. The rest will be allowed to work from home.
Lanka IOC has been operating in Sri Lanka since 2002.
Sri Lanka is considering various options to facilitate measures to prevent fuel pumps from drying up, as the country faces a serious foreign exchange crisis to pay for its imports.
The island nation is plunged into an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst since independence from Britain in 1948. Due to the lack of dollars to pay for imports, it is struggling with a shortage of almost all essentials.
A crippling deficit in foreign reserves has led to long lines for fuel, cooking gas and other necessities while power outages and rising food prices have caused misery to the people.
The economic crisis has also triggered a political crisis in Sri Lanka and demands for the resignation of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The crisis has already forced the president’s elder brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, to resign on May 9.
Inflation has risen to 40 percent, food, fuel and medicine shortages and rolling power blackouts have led to nationwide protests and a sinking currency, with the government lacking the foreign exchange reserves it needs to import.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)