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Sri Lanka imposes longest energy cuts in 26 years

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Energy minister Udaya Gammanpila mentioned the facility disaster had been introduced on by the greenback scarcity

Energy minister Udaya Gammanpila mentioned the facility disaster had been introduced on by the greenback scarcity

Sri Lanka on Tuesday introduced nationwide seven-and-a-half hour day by day energy cuts, the longest in additional than 1 / 4 of a century, as its international trade disaster leaves it unable to import oil.

The Public Utilities Commission mentioned it was a “black day” for the island nation because it permitted the electrical energy rationing beginning Wednesday with energy stations working out of gasoline.

“What we are facing is not an issue of electricity capacity, but a foreign exchange crisis,” the regulatory fee mentioned including that the nation was unable to search out {dollars} to finance oil imports.

The cuts are the longest imposed since 1996, when the nation relied on hydropower for as a lot as 80% of its electrical energy and a chronic drought noticed reservoirs run dry.

Under a brand new directive, all State establishments have been additionally ordered to change off their air conditioners within the afternoon to save lots of power,

Bus operators mentioned they have been unable to get diesel and about half the 11,000 fleet didn’t function, though a public vacation Tuesday restricted the implications.

“We will see the full impact of the diesel shortage tomorrow when people go back to work,” the chairman of the non-public bus operators affiliation, Gemunu Wijeratne, informed AFP.

One of Sri Lanka’s largest gasoline suppliers, Lanka IOC, put up costs by as a lot as 12% on Saturday whereas the State-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) mentioned it too requested the federal government to permit it to boost costs.

Nonetheless, many pumps have been dry on Tuesday and there have been lengthy queues at petrol stations which have been nonetheless open.

Energy minister Udaya Gammanpila informed reporters on Saturday that the facility disaster had been introduced on by the greenback scarcity, which he described because the “worst economic crisis since independence” from Britain in 1948.

Sri Lanka’s tourism sector, a key foreign-exchange earner, collapsed within the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the federal government imposed a broad import ban in March 2020 to save lots of international foreign money.

The nation is now within the grip of an financial disaster, with widespread shortages, together with meals, medicines, automotive elements and cement, and supermarkets compelled to ration staple meals together with rice, sugar and milk powder.

The shortages pushed meals inflation to 25% in January with general inflation at 16.8 %.

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