NEW DELHI : India has again extended assistance to Sri Lanka and will send two ships each of diesel and petrol to the neighbouring nation facing an acute shortage of fuel.
One ship is expected in Sri Lanka between July 13 and 15 and another between July 29 and 31.
The last one will reach the island nation between August 10 and 15, news from Colombo-based sources. The decision to supply fuel comes after recent discussions held between Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda and Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Hardeep Singh Puri.
Moragoda explained the urgent energy requirements of Sri Lanka to Puri.
Lanka has received more than 400,000 tonne of fuel from India over the past three months.
Moragoda and Puri also discussed ways in which India and Sri Lanka could further expand cooperation in the petroleum sector to overcome the current crisis, according to the high commission. They also talked about establishing long-term relationships in the petroleum, oil, gas and related supply sectors.
The current diesel stocks in Sri Lanka will only be used for essential services until the arrival of a new shipment.
About 33,000 metric tonne of gas will arrive in Sri Lanka in July, and 100,000 metric tonne of gas will be procured for the next four months, the Lankan media reported.
Sri Lanka has been facing the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, leading to a severe shortage of essential items like food, medicine, cooking gas and fuel.
The nearly bankrupt country, with an acute foreign currency crisis, announced in April that it was suspending nearly $7 billion foreign debt repayment due for this year out of about $25 billion due through 2026. The economic crisis has particularly impacted food security, agriculture, livelihoods, and access to health services.
Food production in the last harvest season was 40-50% lower than previous year, and the current agricultural season is at risk, with seeds, fertilisers, fuel and credit shortages.