Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Monday, 16 May, that the country was out of petrol, and that the economy was in an extremely precarious state.
"At present, the Sri Lankan economy is extremely precarious. 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," Wickremesinghe, who took oath as the country's prime minister on 12 May, said in Colombo, as per ANI.
He also added that the budget deficit for the year had risen to SLR 2.4 trillion, which accounts for almost 13 percent of Sri Lanka's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Presenting a gloomy picture of the country's financial position, the Sri Lankan PM further said that while foreign exchange reserves stood at $7.5 billion in November 2019, currently it was a challenge for the treasury to find even $1 million.
'Power Outages May Increase to 15 Hours a Day': Sri Lanka PM
"The Ministry of Finance is finding it difficult to raise $5 million required to import gas," Wickremesinghe said.
Speaking on the need for financial assistance, he said that it was necessary for Sri Lanka to obtain around $75 million aid within the next couple of days.
"At the moment, we only have petrol stocks for a single day. Due to diesel shipment that arrived yesterday, the problem regarding lack of diesel will be resolved to some extent," he said.
The prime minister added that since a quarter of electricity was generated through oil, there was a possibility of daily power outages increasing to 15 hours a day. He also said that it was important to obtain $20 million to provide gas to consumers.
Wickremesinghe also said that he planned to present a new alternative budget for the year 2022, which would be presented as a concessionary budget, ANI reported.
(With inputs from ANI.)