Prime Minister says tourism will earn $800m this year – The Island

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Newly appointed chairman of Litro Gas, Muditha Peiris, said yesterday that the company had acted irresponsibly and that no vessels carrying gas were scheduled for the coming weeks.

Peiris said a ship carrying 3,900 metric tons of gas had arrived and it was not at all enough to deal with the crippling gas shortages.

Institutions such as hospitals, crematoriums and hotels would be given priority when distributing the cargo of 3,900 metric tons of gas, he said.

Limited amounts of gas would be released for domestic use, he added.

“We can’t do much with 3,900 metric tons. Moreover, after this expedition, there are no more planned. Litro officials acted irresponsibly. We have not contacted any supplier to find an agreement. Yes, there are financial difficulties, but officials must try to find some kind of solution,” he said.

Gemunu Wijeratne, head of the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA), said 80% of private buses were not operational due to lack of diesel.

“Only two buses were in service on certain lines where 25 to 30 buses circulate on average. In rural areas there is no bus transport. Only the CTB buses are operational, but I don’t think they are running at full capacity. Most buses are privately owned and we all need to sit down and talk. The minister insists that diesel will be delivered to us through SLTB depots, but that does not happen in the real world. Unless this problem is solved, there could be clashes between different bus operators in the coming weeks,” he said.

Meanwhile, the last tanker, under the Indian line of credit, will arrive in Sri Lanka today (16). This will carry 40,000 metric tons of diesel.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said they would supply 50% of fuel demand in the coming weeks, prioritizing the power and transport sectors.

The Prime Minister added that they were finalizing a new line of credit with India and expected to get fuel for another four months.

“On the 16th, a ship of 40,000 metric tons arrives. There are two ships, one tanker and one diesel coming through the end of the month. For next month, we are taking steps to secure two more ships. When we sign the Indian line of credit, we can get fuel for four months. All of this will be given 50%,” he said.

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