Only one day of petrol stock left, says Sri Lankan PM: Key points

Months of crisis with no relief in sight for Sri Lanka
NEW DELHI: Crisis-hit Sri Lanka has run out of petrol and has stock only for a single day, newly-appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced on Monday.
In his first televised address to the nation after becoming the prime minister last week, Wickremesinghe said that his aim is to save the crisis-hit country, and not a person, family or group.
"The next couple of months will be the most difficult ones of our lives. We must prepare ourselves to make some sacrifices and face the challenges of this period," Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
Here are the highlights of his address:
- The new Prime Minister said that the Sri Lankan economy is in a dangerous situation and 2022 budget deficit is seen at 13% of GDP. Although the former government’s budget projected revenue of SLR 2.3 trillion, SLR 1.6 trillion is the realistic projection of this year’s revenue.
- The Prime Minister said that the country needed to secure $75 million in foreign exchange in the next few days to pay for essential imports, as the country suffers from shortages of fuel and medicine.
- A quarter of electricity is generated through oil. Therefore, there's a possibility that daily power outages will increase to 15 hours a day. We must also immediately obtain $20 million to provide gas to consumers, Wickremesinghe said.
- The Prime Minister has proposed privatising Sri Lankan airlines, which is making massive losses at present. The loss for 2020-2021 alone amounts to SLR 45 billion. By March 31 2021, total loss was at 372 billion.
- Inflation is likely to increase in the short term, Wickremesinghe said.
- He said the government had also run out of cash to pay the 1.4 million civil servants their salaries in May, and he will turn to money printing as a last resort.
- He said we have to continue printing money to pay government salaries, pay for essentials.
- He proposed setting up national council of all political parties to find solutions.
Watch Months of crisis with no relief in sight for Sri Lanka
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