QUICK FIX SOLUTION AND FINANCIAL PLAN

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People do not complain about fuel, gas prices. They hate shortages, long queues. Result: ‘Government change’ (1977, 2022).

It is sad to see innocent, nonpolitical civilians waiting patiently for hours or days to get fuel, gas.

This paper gives the ‘Quick Fix’, to end this difficult and disgusting time. The word ‘dedicated’ is used in this paper with deep meaning.

Quick fix

Have dedicated 24-hour, nonstop fuel, gas filling/ supply stations at one district level station. Other sales outlets could continue business as usual.

SLTB or CPC fuel stations could be selected for the 24-hour, nonstop dedicated fuel supply to people. The model excellently used by the
Sri Lanka Army at Vihara Mahadevi Park, for accelerated Covid vaccination drive is an exemplary role model to be emulated for the fuel/ gas crisis.

A similar model could be used for a 24-hour dedicated, district level gas supply at selected LP gas supply outlets.

Precaution

Cash collection, particularly at night must be secured. Deploy Police, STF for protection. Get Bank of Ceylon (BOC), People’s Bank to have a special mobile night cash collection/ banking system for a fee, in these dedicated 24-hour fuel filling stations.

Financing plan

Sale of fuel, gas is for cash. Get the cash collection banked to a special, dedicated CPC bank account at BOC, People’s Bank.

Use this money exclusively to pay (in rupees), when opening Letters of Credit (LC), for fuel imports.

Next question is, how to get U.S. dollars for imports?

Have a dedicated Forex allocation calendar.

Total Forex inflows per year in Sri Lanka, is about USD 20 billion, which is USD 80 million per workday (US$20 billion/ 250 workdays).

Government should have dedicated days to pay for essential imports in Forex as follows:

First five workdays during 1 to 10 of the months for fuel import bill settlements. (USD 80 million x five days = USD 400 million)

First workday during 21 to 30 of the month for gas import bill settlements. (USD 80 million allocation available).

During the above dedicated days, banks should be advised not to settle other import bills in Forex.

Central Bank should instruct commercial banks to follow the above Import Bill settlements, using a dedicated Forex allocation calendar.

Current fuel imports are on Lines of Credit (LOC), or loans from India, China, because CPC has no money.

Collection on sale of fuel should not be used in the general cash pool for recurrent expenses like salaries because the pool was imported on LOC/ loans. The money should be used for the next import of fuel.

Roll this cash over to import fuel and have a stock of three to six months, to ensure sustainability and have a steady supply of fuel in the future.

There are hundred large fuel tanks in Trinco. Use it for fuel stock storage and stock control purposes.

Above dedicated financing plan will ensure that there are no Rupee and USD cash shortages for future fuel imports. What is desperately needed is financial discipline and dedication.

If the contents of this paper are acceptable, then implement it now please, with or without modifications.

Quotable quotes and words of wisdom

“Greatest glory of man is not in never falling; but, getting up, every time he falls.”

Sri Lanka has gone through many disasters, crises in the past, and got up with all its lion might.

“One man can change the world; but all people should try it.”

President John F. Kennedy, 1963

Sunil Lasantha Perera –

A Chartered Accountant, MBA, Author of two non-political books.

Worked in USA for 25 years on USAID, World Bank, ADB and inter-American bank projects. Was based in Washington DC for 7 years, Russia 5 years, Afghanistan 10 years.

Worked in 15 countries worldwide on donor funded
development projects.

By Sunil Lasantha Perera