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President Wickremesinghe says the government will focus on economic restoration and end fuel shortages

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe said his government’s main priority was to repair the country’s sick economy and worsen after the last shipment under the Indian credit line arrived here in June. He said it was to end a serious fuel shortage.

The newly elected president addressed a rally at party headquarters on Wednesday, stating that his government did not oppose peaceful protests and would always allow protesters if they did not violate the law.

Read | After Sri Lanka and Pakistan, Bangladesh is asking the IMF for $ 4.5 billion to survive the financial crisis

“I became president at the most difficult time for the country. We have to set the economy right,” he said.

Wickremesinghe said his government’s main task was to first reduce the length of the fuel queues and then eliminate them altogether.

Since June 27, the government has cut fuel supplies and restricted essential services.

Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said on Monday that Sri Lanka was facing a serious foreign exchange shortage and announced a ration system to distribute fuel across the crisis-stricken island nations, fuel imports for the next 12 months. Said to limit.

“The QR system was introduced because it couldn’t meet daily fuel demand. Due to foreign exchange issues, fuel imports must be restricted in the next 12 months,” he said.

A country of 22 million people, Sri Lanka is on the verge of unprecedented economic turmoil, with millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other necessities. A serious foreign exchange shortage has hampered the import of national fuel and other necessities under the worst economic crisis of 70 years.

Many violent incidents have been reported at gas stations, with nearly 20 people dying of fatigue after lining up in long lines for several days in a row. Since the beginning of this year, Sri Lanka has relied on India’s credit line to fund its fuel purchases.

Sri Lanka, which relied on India’s credit line for fuel imports until February, is now running out of facilities. The last fuel shipment under the Indian credit line arrived on June 16th. Sri Lanka’s fuel and energy sector has been hit hardest by foreign exchange shortages caused by an unprecedented economic crisis.

India’s credit line for fuel and essentials provided a lifeline while the island nation struggled to find the IMF package. After the process began in April, it was difficult to reach a staff-level agreement, so the expected relief package with the IMF was postponed.

The worst economic crisis since 1948 has caused a debilitating political crisis in Sri Lanka. There, former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa lost his power due to poor economic treatment.

A large-scale protest on July 13 attempted to invade the parliamentary complex following the mass uprising on July 9, and Rajapaksa left the country for the Maldives and then for Singapore.

On July 9, rebel demonstrators occupied Rajapaksa’s official residence and Wickremesinghe’s private home. The mob also burned Wickremesinghe’s private residence.

Last week, the Sri Lankan parliament elected Rajapaksa’s ally, Wickremesinghe, as the successor to Rajapaksa, who resigned after arriving in Singapore. It was the first time in 44 years that the Sri Lankan parliament directly elected the president.

Sri Lanka has experienced months of massive anxiety over the worst economic crisis, and many have accused Rajapaksa and his family of former governments of mishandling the island’s economy. I am.

 

https://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-sri-lanka-crisis-president-wickremesinghe-says-government-will-focus-of-fixing-economy-ending-fuel-shortage-2972242 President Wickremesinghe says the government will focus on economic restoration and end fuel shortages

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