Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, making a special statement on the economic situation of the country last Tuesday (7), requested the public to use fuel and gas as carefully as possible and warned that the next three weeks will be a tough time for the country when it comes to fuel supply.
“The country spends D500 million per month on fuel. Some estimate that global oil prices will rise by as much as 40 per cent by the end of this year. In this context, the idea of introducing a coupon system for fuel cannot be ruled out. Somehow we have to find USD 3.3 billion worth of fuel for the next six months. It costs USD 40 million a month to import gas. We are currently using multilateral assistance, local currency and Indian loans to import gas. We will require USD 250 million over the next six months for gas,” he said.
“In terms of rice, the country’s annual rice requirement is 2.5 million metric tons. But we have only 1.6 million metric tons of rice in stock. We need to import food items to meet our daily requirements. It costs about USD 150 million a month,” he added.