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Thursday June 20th, 2024

Cooking gas shortages in Sri Lanka to be resolved in 7-10 days: cabinet spokesman

ECCONOMYNEXT – Cooking gas shortages in Sri Lanka will be solved in seven to 10 days, co-cabinet spokesman and Plantations Minister Ramesh Pathirana said.

“The gas issue is being solved at the moment. Letters of credit (LCs) have been issued to clear two gas ships from the port,” the minister said, speaking at the weekly cabinet press briefing on Tuesday (22).

“We are hoping that the gas shortage will be solved in the coming few days.”

He said the state-owned Litro Gas which supplies 80 percent of the cooking gas in the market, is facing a surge in demand.

“At the moment is Litro is releasing 100,000 gas cylinders per day whereas before they were supplying around 85,000 to 90,000 per day,” said Pathirana.

“Due to the shortage of gas supply in the last few weeks, the demand has risen. It will take another seven to 10 days for the demand to settle.”

The central bank has agreed to release dollars “so we are hoping it will be sorted in a couple of days,” he added.

Consumer Affairs Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna had too assured reporters during a visit to the Litro gas company premises on Monday that there is “no need to fear a gas shortage in the coming two-three months.”

He said from Monday (21) onwards the company will somehow supply the cooking gas needed for the market in collaboration with all relevant authorities.

“There is a price increase in the international market. We must admit that never in the history of Sri Lanka we have experienced this kind of a gas shortage in the country,” said Alagiywanna.

As commodity prices skyrocket in the country after a rupee devaluation, the other LP gas supplier in the market, Laugfs Gas Pvt Ltd increased its prices.

According to reports, a 12.5kg domestic Laugfs gas cylinder price was increased by 1,359 rupees to 4,199.

A 5kg cylinder was increased by 544 rupees to 1,680.

This is the third time the company has increased prices since August 2021.

Litro officials told EconomyNext that they opted out of a price hike. (Colombo/Mar22/2022)

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Sri Lanka shares debt management experience at global forum

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has shared its experiences at a forum on debt management to “provide lessons for others”, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe has said.

Semasinghe spoke on “The Role of Debt Management in Navigating Crises” at the 14th Debt Management Facility (DMF) Stakeholders’ Forum, in Livingstone, Zambia.

“I shared the experiences of Sri Lanka which can provide valuable lessons for others and explored the critical elements of capacity building and sound institutional practices in managing debt, particularly in the context of economic challenges,” Semasinghe said on X (twitter).

“Sri Lanka’s experience demonstrates that effective debt management is not just about managing numbers but also about building robust institutions and capacities.”

The journey underscores the importance of transparent, accountable governance and the need for international support and cooperation in times of crisis, he said.

“Sri Lanka prioritized addressing gaps in public debt management by drafting a consolidated Public Debt Management Act, ensuring clarity and legal robustness and establishing a centralized Public Debt Management Office with operational autonomy.

“The role of debt management in navigating crises is multifaceted and critical. Further, by investing in capacity building, adhering to sound institutional practices, and strategically managing debt restructuring and liability operations, countries can better withstand economic shocks and pave the way for sustainable recovery.”

Developing countries face severe debt distress as they are more vulnerable to external shocks, Semasinghe said, and “managing global debt requires coordinated international efforts on debt restructuring where necessary, timely fiscal policy adaptation and help sustainable economic growth.”

The state minister also pointed out the financial impact of climate change was an emerging challenge, as countries need investment to mitigate and adapt to climate impacts, “especially through non-debt creating inflows, which would require private capital mobilization.” (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 305.10/30 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger ahead of the long weekend at 305.10/30 to the US dollar on Thursday, up from 305.40/55 to the US dollar Wednesday, dealers said, while some bond yields edged up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.45/80 percent, up from 10.35/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 11.20/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.00/15 percent, up from 11.95/12.35 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.12.2031 closed at 12.05/25 percent.

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Sri Lanka stocks close up, JKH trade pushes turnover

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Thursday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.19 percent, or 23.11 points, at 12,249; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed up 0.15 percent, or 5.33 points, at 3,610.

Turnover was 2 billion. Nearly half of this (Rs980mn) came from a crossing on John Keells Holdings Plc. The share closed down at 202.00.

“There were several crossings today which pushed turnover,” market participants said.

“Institutions and high net-worth activity drove the market, while the retail investors we feel are still about uncertain and adopting a wait-and-see approach.”

Melstacorp Plc was among the companies that saw active volumes (Rs194mn) in the day. The share closed up at 87.10.

Top contributors to the index included TeeJay Lanka Plc (up at 41.70), Sampath Bank Plc (up at 79.50), Hatton National Bank Plc (down at 201.00). Hayleys Plc (up at 105.00) and its subsidiary Hayleys Fabric Plc (up at 46.60) were also positive contributors. (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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