India on Thursday said it has delivered one more consignment of 40,000 MT of diesel to Sri Lanka under the Indian credit line to help ease the acute power crisis in the island nation. A total of close to 400,000 MT of various types of fuel have been delivered with Indian assistance in two months, the Indian High Commission said here.
The High Commission said that 40,000 MT of diesel under the Indian credit line reached Sri Lanka on Wednesday. Earlier, India delivered 40,000 MT of diesel to Sri Lanka on April 2. This was India's fourth consignment of fuel delivered to Sri Lanka under the Line of Credit.
India and Sri Lanka signed a USD 500 million Line of Credit Agreement for purchase of petroleum products on February 2, 2022. With the economic crisis and the shortage of forex, the Indian credit line of USD 500 million for fuel imports has provided a lifeline to the island nation, which is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis in history. With long lines for fuel, cooking gas, essentials in short supply and long hours of power cuts, the public has been suffering for months.
India recently announced to extend a USD 1 billion line of credit to Sri Lanka as part of its financial assistance to the country to deal with the economic crisis following the previous USD 500 billion line of credit in February to help it purchase petroleum products. The Indian fuel came as the protests over fuel shortages intensified throughout the country.
The Sri Lankan government on Thursday deployed troops as a precautionary measure in the southwestern region of Rambukkana where one person was killed and 13 others were injured in violence after the police opened fire at unarmed anti-government protestors demonstrating against the latest fuel price hike. The island nation is witnessing large-scale protests against the government's handling of the debt-ridden economy – the worst-ever economic crisis in the country's history.
Protests demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his Sri Lanka Podujana (Peramuna)-led government have intensified as shortages continued and prices soared.