Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera says the standards of the diesel shipment that arrived in Sri Lanka this afternoon under the Indian loan facility is currently being assessed.
Addressing a media briefing in Colombo today, the Minister said the diesel stock will be offloaded following the completion of standard checks.
The Minister added it is routine protocol to test fuel stocks upon arrival while the process of issuing a quality report requires six hours.
Minister Wijesekera said he is hopeful that the diesel will be managed and distributed according to a systematic plan and believes stocks will be sufficient until the 21st of June.
Meanwhile, Minister Wijesekera said a statement by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe pertaining to fuel shipments has been shared out of context on social media.
The Minister said certain parties have misinterpreted the Prime Minister’s statement pertaining to the fuel shipment received today as the last fuel shipment that Sri Lanka will be receiving.
The Minister informed that the fuel shipment is the final diesel tanker that will arrive in the country under the Indian loan facility.
He noted that while a certain sum of the payment for the shipment was through the Indian loan facility, USD 25 million was paid by the Treasury two weeks ago.
The Minister on a separate note said the Parliamentary sub-committee appointed to ensure the continuous supply of fuel in the long term, authorised two new corporations to import diesel and petrol.
The Minister said the letter of approval has been handed over to the companies.
Minister Wijesekara said the information regarding the fuel suppliers have already been received while discussions are in place to open Letters of Credit for the importation of diesel and petrol shipments.
The Minister said the bank has been notified in this regard and once the LCs are open exact dates for the arrival of fuel shipments can be announced.
He further said in the long term, Sri Lanka hopes to obtain further aid from India to obtain fuel under the third phase of the Indian loan facility.
He said official approval has not been granted yet by the government of India although unofficially a loan of USD 500 billion will be obtained through a rapid financing facility through the Indian EXIM bank.
Minister Kanchana Wijesekara said the aid will solely be used to import petrol and diesel adding agreements have been reached to obtain jet fuel and furnace oil through other parties.