Sri Lanka introduces fuel pass to provide oil in orderly manner
Aiming to provide fuel to the public in an orderly manner amidst its worst energy crisis, the Sri Lankan government has introduced fuel passes that will guarantee a weekly quota to every vehicle owner. Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948. The country is unable to pay for its essential imports, fuel, food and medicine due to an acute forex crisis. The public have been languishing in serpentine queues for fuel, cooking gas and suffering with multiple hours of power outages. “Today we have introduced the national fuel pass. This will guarantee a weekly quota for each vehicle,” Power and Energy minister Kanchana Wijesekara said after the initiative was launched on Saturday.
National Fuel Pass was developed with the assistance of leading Tech companies in Sri Lanka and the Institute of Communication and Information Technology (ICTA) without any cost to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) or the government, the Colombo Page reported. He said the public are advised to register with the fuel pass website “fuelpass.
gov.lk” with their personal identification. “You can sign upto one vehicle for each identity card/passport or business registration certificate,” he said.
According to officials, a person may register one vehicle under his National Identity Card Number, Passport Number or Business Registration Number. In addition, some other information such as name, address, phone number, used vehicle etc should also be submitted. The QR code obtained after registration must be presented to get fuel. The QR code can be saved as a screenshot on one's mobile phone. Those without a smartphone can keep a printout of the QR code with them.
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Wijesekara said the fuel consumption had seen a 30 per cent increase with the government funding it hard to place fuel orders. Since June 27 the government stopped fuel supplies and restricted only to essential services. The Lankan Indian Oil Company (LIOC) expanded its distribution network since the state fuel entity suspended its operations. Since then several miles-long fuel queues are seen near the LIOC stations.
Many incidents of violence have been reported at fuel queues and nearly 20 people have died of exhaustion after spending several days continuously in the fuel queues. Since the beginning of this year, Sri Lanka has relied on an Indian line of credit to fund fuel purchases. The original USD 500 million was later expanded to USD 700 million. However, the third line of credit which Sri Lanka applied for did not materialise. Sri Lanka’s fuel and energy sectors are the worst hit in the forex shortages triggered by the unprecedented economic crisis. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was forced out of power last week due to his poor handling of the economy.
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