Cabinet approves US$ 3.6B loan from Oman
By Rebecca Pavey
The Cabinet gave its approval towards obtaining a loan of US$ 3.6 billion from Oman to purchase petroleum. Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila noted the preparations of agreements in this connection are currently underway Earlier this month, approval for a proposal to enter into a loan agreement with Oman to finance petroleum procurement was granted by the Cabinet.
Reportedly, Sri Lanka is to be given a five-year grace period and a repayment period spanning 20 years, while the USD 3.6 billion loan is expected to provide funds to purchase fuel for 12 months. Gammanpila further noted the recent panic-buying witnessed at several petrol sheds was a result of rumours being spread by the Opposition. “The Opposition and its unions have misled the community nearly five times about a potential petrol shortage.
There is no reason for a petrol shortage, we have sufficient stocks of petrol,” he said. He further assured that there are no plans to increase the prices of CEYPETCO petrol, despite Lanka IOC increasing the price of Octane 92 petrol by Rs 5 last week (17). Further explaining the measures taken by the Ministry to prevent such a shortage, Gammanpila stated that Sri Lanka also sought a US$ 500 million credit line from India to pay for its crude oil purchases.