Sri Lanka releases USD 31 Mn for Diesel; TUs allege banks are pressured to release USD

Sri Lanka releases USD 31 Mn for Diesel; TUs allege banks are pressured to release USD

Sri Lanka releases USD 31 Mn for Diesel; TUs allege banks are pressured to release USD

Written by Zulfick Farzan

02 Mar, 2022 | 6:46 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka’s Energy Ministry on Wednesday (2) confirmed that USD 31 Million was released to secure the 37,300 MT of Diesel shipment that reached the Colombo Port.

A spokesperson for the Ministry Chaminda Hettiarachchi told News 1st that the shipment will be unloaded on Thursday (3).

However, Ranjan Senanayake, the Secretary of the Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union said Sri Lankan banks are being pressured by the state to release dollars for fuel purchases.

“There is no point in the President issuing directives to release USD for fuel when banks do not have USD,” he told reporters on Wednesday (2).

Banks need to source USD and for this purpose, the Central Bank, the Finance Ministry, and the government must formulate a joint program.

He alleged that the Central Bank Governor is not echoing the directives of the President, and the Energy Minister is speaking the opposite.

The Trade Unionist urged the government to understand the situation surrounding depleting foreign reserves and the burden on local banks.

“Decisions should not be political, and banks should not be threatened to release USD,” he said adding if the matter is not solved right now, the consequences will be experienced in the months to come.

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