On Tuesday, Sri Lanka asked oil corporations in petroleum-producing countries to import and sell their goods in the Indian Ocean island, thereby expanding its market to alleviate acute gasoline shortages during its worst economic crisis in decades.
Due to depleted foreign exchange reserves, the nation of 22 million people is unable to pay for imports of basic necessities such as fuel, food, and medications.
‘An advertising was released today looking for expressions of interest (EOI) from oil corporations to import, distribute, and sell petroleum products in Sri Lanka,’ power and energy minister Kanchana Wijesekera stated on Twitter.
The new process’s permits for oil corporations will effectively end a market duopoly involving a subsidiary of India’s state-run Indian Oil Corp.
The government stated in its notice that the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corp (CPC), which controls over 80% of the market with a countrywide network of 1,190 fuel stations, will share some of its resources and pumps with the new entrants.
The main causes of Sri Lanka’s biggest economic crisis since its independence from Britain in 1948 include economic mismanagement and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a tourism-dependent economy.