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Sri Lanka PM says, USD 160 million received from World Bank but cannot be used for fuel purchase

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Sri Lanka | May 18, 2022 11:23:58 PM IST
Grappling with severe food and fuel shortages, the newly-elected Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe in the Parliament on Wednesday said that the island country has received USD 160 million from the World Bank.

However, the money would not be used for fuel purchases, said Wickremesinghe, reported Colombo Page.

According to the Sri Lankan PM, the government has been engaging in discussions regarding the matter with the officials of the World Bank. The Sri Lankan government has even requested the World Bank to allow funds to be used for urgent fuel purchases. PM Wickremesinghe also explained that owing to bad weather conditions in Sri Lanka, the gas shipments need to be unloaded via lorries which will be responsible for the delay.

Further, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister said that the global dearth of fertilizers in Sri Lanka, owing to the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war is being addressed, reported the Colombo Page. Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP, Harsha de Silva has pointed out that Sri Lanka has to repay a debt of USD 5.5 billion in the next 12 months.

In the context of non-payment of loans, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP also asked PM Wickremesinghe about the amount which is to be paid at one installment, to which the Sri Lankan PM had replied that presently, Sri Lanka did not even possess one million dollars to repay the debt of 10 billion US dollars. However, he assured, updates will be presented to the parliament by the following week.

Earlier, Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday held discussions with the country's representatives of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) amid the ongoing economic crisis in the Island nation. He has also urged the opposition parties to forget party affiliations and come forward, uniting as one to save Sri Lanka from the severe economic crisis, reported Colombo Page. '

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence with food and fuel shortages, soaring prices, and power cuts affecting a large number of the citizens, resulting in massive protests resulting in the resignation of former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. (ANI)

 
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