Sri Lanka requires $6 billion during the next six months to keep the country afloat, according to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Over half of the requirements is for fuel and cooking gas imports which includes an estimated $3,300 million for fuel and $250 million for LPG for the next six months.
“The next three weeks will be a tough time for us in regards fuel. It is time we all must use fuel and gas as carefully as possible. Unessential travel should be limited as much as possible. Therefore, I urge all citizens to refrain from thinking about hoarding fuel and gas during this period. After those difficult three weeks, we will try to provide fuel and food without further disruptions. Negotiations are underway with various parties to ensure this happens. After these difficult three weeks, we are trying to ensure the shortage of fuel and gas will have ended. Let’s face these difficult three weeks united and patiently,” Wickremesinghe told the Parliament yesterday.
Further, $900 million and $600 million is required to import food and fertilizer for the next six months.
“In terms of rice, our country’s annual rice requirement is 2.5 million metric tons. But we have only 1.6 million metric tons of rice in stock. This condition is not only restricted to paddy but many other crops. So, in a few months, we will have to face serious difficulties and shortages in terms of our diets. We need to import food items to meet our daily requirements. It costs about $150 million a month,” he said.
Further, another $1 billion is needed to strengthen the rupee.