ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s power regulator said it has sought 150 million US dollars from the central bank to import fuel for the next two months, but no response has been received forcing power cuts of over seven hours from March 02.

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had also instructed the central bank to provide the necessary foreign exchange but it had not happened.

“We have given a number of proposals to the government and cabinet to solve the power crises but the advice not been taken in to consideration,” PUCSL Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said in a statement.

“The power crisis that has come from the fuel crisis is due to the wrong financial management. That is to say, unwise use of foreign exchange. Priority should be given for fuel.

PUCSL had also advised that the Ceylon Electricity Board and Independent Power Producers be allowed to import fuel directly.

“The power plants need 150 million US dollars in the next two months to buy diesel, naptha and furnace oil,” Ratnayake said.

“We ask relevant parties that our proposals be followed.”

“Due to the 7 to 8 hour power cut, small and large industries will become inactive. It will make the entire economy fall.”

Sri Lanka is facing severe foreign exchange shortages due to liquidity injections made to enforce low interest rates. (Colombo/Mar02/2022)