Monday, August 8, 2022

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Supreme Court orders to submit proper fuel distribution mechanism

The Supreme Court has ordered the Attorney General to submit a proper fuel distribution mechanism for the essential services.

The court issued this order today (14) when two fundamental rights petitions filed by the Sri Lanka Bar Association (BASL) seeking an order urging the government to prepare a long-term and short-term program for the continuous supply of essential services including fuel, food, electricity, and medicine.

These petitions were summoned today before the three-member Supreme Court bench of Justices Vijith Malalgoda, Mahinda Samayawardena and Arjuna Obeysekera.

The Attorney General submitted an affidavit of the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy, explaining the purchase and distribution of fuel.

Details about the volumes of fuel to be purchased by the government, the payments made and the measures taken for the proper distribution were presented to the Court through the affidavit.

However, the President’s Counsel Uditha Igalahewa, who appeared on behalf of the Sri Lanka Bar Association, pointed out that the arrangements made on the matter are unsatisfactory.

Sri Lanka is suffering the worst economic crisis in its history, with fuel shortages bringing the country to a standstill. Many are now convinced leaving is their only option.

Fuel crisis is expected to be come more critical following the postponement of the cabinet meeting scheduled on Monday 11 as result of the peoples struggle forcing the President , Prime Minister and the ministers to resign.

Cabinet paper seeking the approval to obtain US $ 128 million from the Capital market to pay for fuel shipments scheduled to arrive at the Colombo Port with in the next few days is still pending as there was no cabinet meetings, Finance Ministry sources claimed.

However fuel shipments are scheduled to begin arriving in Sri Lanka from Friday, 15th July, Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said .

He said that last Friday full payments were made with the assistance of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Finance to Indian Oil for a diesel cargo to arrive between 15-17 July and a petrol cargo for 22-24 July.

The Minister said that advance payments were made last week for a diesel cargo to arrive between 15-17 July and petrol between 17-19 July. He said that the balance payment will be made today for the diesel.

Wijesekera also said that the balance payment for the petrol to arrive from 17-19th July has not been paid on Tuesday the 12th.

Three further shipments will arrive in Colombo between 12-15th (diesel), 14-16th (heavy fuel oil and 15-17th (crude oil), for which the funds has to be paid on arrival in Colombo

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