Sri Lanka plans quota scheme for fuel refilling amid crisis
In the midst of the country's economic crisis, the Sri Lanka government is planning to implement a national fuel quota scheme. The government will allocate assured weekly fuel quotas per vehicle on a single national ID card under the system. Once the citizens' car chassis numbers and information have been validated, a QR code will be assigned for the scheme to be implemented.
- Sri Lanka has been facing record inflation and severe shortages of food, fuel, and other essentials.
- It is struggling to service its $51 billion foreign debt due to a lack of foreign exchange with the COVID-19 pandemic jeopardizing its lucrative tourism revenue.
- Mass civilian protests recently led to protesters storming the presidential palace and forcing ex-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign and flee the nation.
These measures are being implemented after Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa submitted his resignation on Thursday and as the conditions in the country gradually return to normal. A new fuel delivery mechanism is being developed to eliminate black marketing, hoarding, and unequal distribution of fuel. Fuel will be distributed on two days of the week based on the final digit of the citizen's number plate.
As per reports, Kanchana Wijesekara, Sri Lanka's Minister of Power and Energy, presented the new scheme titled "National Fuel Pass," a fuel rationing policy, on Saturday, amid the island country's burning economic crisis and fuel shortage.
Introduction to the National Fuel Pass will be held @ 12.30pm. A guaranteed weekly fuel quota will be allocated. 1 Vehicle per 1 NIC, QR code allocated once Vehicle Chassis number details verified. 2 days of the week according to Last Digit of number plate for fueling with QR. https://t.co/hLMI9Nm5ZF— Kanchana Wijesekera (@kanchana_wij) July 16, 2022
Amid the ongoing political and economic turmoil, citizens continue to stand in queues for food and fuel. "We have been standing in line for fuel for over two days. I had it filled for [LKR] 10,000 which was enough for 2-3 days," said cricketer Chamika Karunaratne. The "fuel pass" scheme introduced by Sri Lanka is aimed at ensuring a weekly fuel quota for motorists.
People throughout the country are queuing for kilometers outside fuel stations to replenish their tanks. All educational institutions in Sri Lanka's Colombo are closed and government employees were instructed to work from home due to the country's severe fuel scarcity.
Meanwhile, battling the acute economic crisis, Sri Lanka's Parliament convened for a session on Saturday to start the procedure of electing the island nation's next president. The house will vote on it on July 20. This comes after Gotabaya Rajapaksa was forced to flee the country and resign from the presidential post. On Friday, Ranil Wickremesinghe took oath as the island nation's acting president.