En uppdatering från en resebyrå på Sri Lanka som vi gärna delar.
In our previous updates, we did mention Sri Lanka’s Economic crisis was going to last for 3 months (up to August) and the worst was yet to come, and that moment has arrived.
The Government of Sri Lanka announced a day before, starting 28th June & up to 10th Of July fuel will be only issued for essential services categorized as per the Gazette notification which includes Medical services, Military & Police, Public transport, Export-oriented services, Airports, and Tourism. All others were requested to curtail travel & work from home. The Schools too were closed.
This was a sensible decision to manage the fuel stocks at hand & until such time new stocks arrive post 10th Of July. As we speak, the following actions are taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to restore energy security to the country & stabilize the economy.
- In a step close to integration with India in energy security, Sri Lanka has sought to purchase four shipments of fuel – 40,000 tons each- from India on cash payment terms, India is a bulk purchaser of fuel from the global market with attractive discounts. Initially, a shipment of diesel will be dispatched. Afterwards, petrol will be sent depending on the requirements. However, it will take at least one more week for the purchase to materialize.
- Our Energy Minister is currently in Qatar for a meeting with State Energy Minister.
- The Cabinet approval was granted to open fuel imports and retail sales market to companies from oil-exporting nations, the companies will be selected upon their ability to import fuel and operate without Forex requirements from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
- International Monetary Fund (IMF) team is in the country speaking with the Government on a bailout program, The IMF team, visiting Colombo through June 30, is continuing talks on what would be Sri Lanka’s 17th rescue program. The IMF has reaffirmed its commitment to support Sri Lanka at this difficult time, in line with the IMF’s policies.
We feel the IMF visit, overlapping with debt restructuring talks, will yield a quick staff-level agreement and a fast track for IMF board disbursements. IMF program is crucial to access bridge financing from sources such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
- A high-level delegation representing the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of State is also in Sri Lanka currently Members of the delegation include Robert Kaproth, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Asia, and Ambassador Kelly Keiderling, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia. The visitors met with a wide range of political representatives, economists, and international organizations. In all their meetings, they are exploring the most effective ways for the U.S. to support Sri Lankans in need.
Over the past two weeks, the U.S. has announced $120 million in new financing for Sri Lankan small and medium-sized businesses, a $27 million contribution to Sri Lanka’s dairy industry, and $5.75 million in humanitarian assistance to help those hit hardest by the economic crisis. The United States also committed $6 million in new grants to provide livelihood assistance to vulnerable populations, and technical assistance on financial reform that will help stabilize the economy. In the coming months, the U.S. will continue to support Sri Lankans as they revive their economy, combat food insecurity, and promote public health and education. The United States also strongly supports Sri Lanka’s decision to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund, which can provide the most durable resolution to the present crisis.
- A high-level 3-member team from India visited Sri Lanka and held talks with both the PM & the President. The purpose is to look at how to support Sri Lanka during these challenging times.
- Payments for Domestic Gas have been made by the government and the shipments are expected to arrive between the 7th – 12th of July.
- The Australian Cricket Team is currently in Sri Lanka and has been very supportive towards the Island nation’s struggle
- The government is currently holding talks with multiple nations including, the US, Japan, India, and China who have pledged their support
Finally, the Tourism industry is very resilient & we are continuing to receive & service guests in Sri Lanka. By Categorizing Tourism as an essential service, we receive fuel on a priority basis throughout Sri Lanka which has helped us to provide uninterrupted services.
We have been in constant touch with all hotels around Sri Lanka and are pleased to confirm they have no shortages of fuel, food, and beverages. Importation of Certain food items, wines, and alcohol from Overseas too continues uninterrupted.
This is not the case for the general public, sadly the daily struggles continue, but we are all aware we are on the right path to recovery and the change we all want to see in our country’s future course.