India is rushing more petrol and diesel to Sri Lanka as the friendly neighbour is down to a single-day’s stock of fuel.
The island nation has been forced to extend the closure of its schools for another week as transport cannot be run to ferry students and teachers to school.
The decision to rush the fuel is reported to have been taken after the Sri Lanka high commissioner in New Delhi, Milinda Moragoda, met Petroleum Minister Hardip Singh Puri on the issue.
Sri Lanka will receive two ships containing petrol and diesel this month and another in August, the Chairman of Lanka IOC, the subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation, said.
One ship is expected to arrive between July 13 and 15 and another ship is scheduled to reach between July 29 and 31. The third ship will reach the island nation between August 10 and 15.
Sri Lanka has received more than 400,000 tonnes of fuel from India over the past three months. However, with the cost of crude oil skyrocketing in world markets, Indian oil companies also face financial constraints on the amount of fuel that they can make available as the demand in the home market has also got to be met, especially at a time when the kharif sowing is on in full swing.
Sri Lanka’s Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera appealed to the country's expatriates to send money home through banks to finance new oil purchases. A huge foreign debt has left the Indian Ocean island with none of the suppliers willing to sell fuel on credit.
"Finding money is a challenge. It's a huge challenge," Sri Lanka’s Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera told reporters.
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