The Sri Lankan government will encourage people to work from home to reduce fuel consumption in the country. Sri Lanka’s Minister for Power and Energy Kanchana Bijasekara hinted at this in a Twitter post on Tuesday in the wake of a record rise in fuel prices. News Reuters and AFP.
In a Twitter post on Tuesday,
Kanchana said that Sri Lanka has increased petrol prices by 20-40 per cent. Diesel prices have also been increased by 35-36 percent. Prices will also be gradually increased in government public transport and other services. “Working from home will be encouraged to reduce oil consumption and meet the energy crisis,” Kanchana wrote in a Twitter post.
Inflation in Sri Lanka stood at a record high of 33.8 per cent in April, up from 21.5 per cent in March, the Sri Lankan government said on Monday.
Energy Minister Kanchana further said that the newly appointed ‘Cabinet on Economic Warfare’ yesterday set new fuel prices. Diesel is commonly used in public transport in Sri Lanka. The price of this diesel has been increased from 289 per liter to 400 rupees. In this case, the price has increased by 36 percent. Petrol price has also been increased from Rs 338 per liter to Rs 420 per liter.
In Sri Lanka, diesel prices have risen by 230 per cent and petrol by 136 per cent in the last six months. Both have supply shortages. Motorists have to stand in long lines to collect fuel. It takes up to a few days to get fuel.
Sri Lanka’s census office said yesterday that the country’s inflation stood at 33.8 percent last month compared to the previous year. And food inflation is even higher at 845.1%.
However, Johns Hopkins University economist Steve Hank said the actual inflation rate is much higher than the official data on Sri Lanka’s inflation. “Using high-frequency data and purchasing power parity strategies, I have accurately measured that the country has a 122 percent inflation rate compared to the previous year,” he said.
Steve Hank mentions the March figures here.
However, as per the government of Sri Lanka, the amount of inflation is 21.5%.
Last month, the Sri Lankan government announced that it had failed to repay a foreign debt of Rs 5,100 crore. The country is in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to overcome the situation.
The value of the local currency has continued to decline in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan currency stood at Rs 200 against the US dollar in March. And now the value of the currency stands at 360 rupees against every dollar.
The country is facing the worst economic crisis in its history due to the Corona epidemic and some wrong decisions of the government. The country has been in a severe food, fuel and medicine crisis for months. Inflation has risen sharply, with hours of load shedding going on.
The more than a month-long protest against the government’s role in tackling the economic crisis has recently turned violent. Clashes erupted when supporters of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa attacked anti-government protesters in Colombo. At least 9 people were killed and 300 injured.
At one point, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on May 9 at the behest of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The president then appointed veteran politician Ranil Wickremesinghe as the new prime minister.