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Saturday March 2nd, 2024

Sri Lanka’s state-run Litro Gas and CPC promise sustained cooking gas, fuel supply amid shortages

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state run Litro Gas Ltd will supply one million cooking gas cylinders in the next ten days while the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation will supply fuel twice a day to fuel stations within Colombo, officials said.

Litro Gas said on Thursday (24) that a consignment of 35,000 metric tonnes is to arrive in Sri Lanka that day while another consignment is scheduled to arrive on Saturday (27). The company said it has enough LP gas in store to meet the current demand.

Media reports quoted the Chairman of Litro, Theshara Jayasinghe as saying Litro will deliver one million cooking gas cylinders to the market within the next 10 days.

Media reports also showed the people in many areas standing in queues to get a gas cylinder, even as Litro reassured consumers that cylinders continue to be delivered to the market from Wednesday (23) onwards.

Meanwhile, Minister of Power Gamini Lokuge told reporters that two bowsers of petrol and diesel will be sent twice a day to all fuel stations in the Colombo district to cater the ongoing fuel shortage that has created long queues of vehicles and people with cans in front of fuel stations.

“Normally a bowser’s worth of fuel sent to a filling station lasts for 1.5 to 2 days, but under the current situation the supplied fuel will be used up within ten hours” Lokuge told reporters on Thursday.

“From 6am onwards we have started distributing fuel and we have decided to send a petrol and a diesel bowser each to every fuel station in Colombo twice a day every day – one in the morning and and another in the afternoon to fill the station storage facilities to continuously supply fuel,” he said.

The fuel situation in some areas are improving, said Lokuge, with fuel bowsers returning from those areas as the fuel already stored at the local filling stations has yet to finish.

Asked about fuel stations that have remained closed for the past few days, the minister said no order for fuel requirements have been received from them.

“We have started unloading a petrol ship in Muthurajawela and another diesel and jet oil ship is here and by evening we will start unloading it” Lokuge said.

Consumption is continuing to remain at a higher level and complaints of fuel being sold at higher prices outside fuel stations have also been received by the authorities, he added.

Meanwhile executive office at bowser owner’s association Anupama Pradeep told reporters that with fuel coming in through the Indian credit line, the association has started distributing fuel island wide.

“We have been distributing fuel as fast as we can and this situation will be settled with the next few days,” Pradeep told reporters on Thursday (24). (Colombo/Mar24/2022)

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Sri Lanka eyes SOE law by May 2024 for better governance

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is planning to pass a Public Commercial Business (PCB) Act improve governance of state-owned enterprise by May 2024 as part of an anti-corruption efforts following an International Monetary Fund assessment.

Sri Lanka’s state enterprises have been used by politicians to give ‘jobs of the boys’, appropriate vehicles for personal use, fill board of directors and key positions with henchmen and relatives, according to critics.

Meanwhile macro-economists working for the state also used them to give off-budget subsides or made energy utilities in particular borrow through supplier’s credits and state banks after forex shortages are triggered through inflationary rate cuts.

The government has taken billons of dollars of loans given to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation from state banks.

There have also been high profile procurement scandals connected to SOEs.

An SOE Reform Policy was approved by Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers in May 2023.

The Public Commercial Business (PCB) Act has now been drafted.

A holding company to own the SOEs will be incorporated and an Advisory Committee and Board of Directors will be appointed after the PCB law is approved, the statement said. (Colombo/Mar01/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes at 308.80/90 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 308.80/90 to the US dollar Friday, from 309.50/70 on Thursday, dealers said.

Bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 01.02.2026 closed at 10.65/75 percent up from 10.50/70 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.90/12.05 percent from 11.90/12.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 12.15/35 percent down from 12.20/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2029 closed at 12.25/40 percent up from 12.30/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 12.30/45 percent down from 12.35/50 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 12.50/13.00 percent from 12.55/13.00 percent. (Colombo/Mar1/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.37-pct, Expo to de-list

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up 0.37 percent on Friday, and SG Holdings, the parent company of Expolanka Holdings Plc, said it was taking the company private.

Expolanka is the largest listed company on the Colombo Stock Exchange.

“Expolanka Holdings PLC has, at the Board Meeting held on 1st March 2024, considered a request from its principal shareholder and resolved to initiate the de-listing of the Company’s shares from the Official List of the Colombo Stock Exchange subject to obtaining necessary shareholder approval and regulatory approvals,” the company said in a stock exchange filing.

As per arrangements with SG Holdings Global Pte Ltd, the Company’s majority shareholder, it will purchase its shares from shareholders who may wish to divest their shareholding in the Company at a purchase price of Rs 185.00 per share. The share closed up at 150.50.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.37 percent, or 39.47 points, at 10,691; while the S&P SL20 Index closed down 0.64 percent, or 19.59 points, at 3,037.

Turnover stayed above the 1 billion mark for the sixth consecutive day, registering 1.4 billion.

Crossings in Melstarcorp Plc (135mn) up at 89.50, Hatton National Bank Plc (64mn) up at 158.00, Hemas Holdings Plc (53mn) up at 75.00 and Central Finance Company Plc (26mn) up at 103.50, added significantly to the day’s turnover.

“The upward trend is continuing, with more retail buying also coming in, the number of trades was more than 10,000 today,” a market participant said. “Investors are looking for undervalued stocks and buying in quantities.” (Colombo/Mar1/2024).

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