Sri Lanka suspends non-essential petrol sales for two weeks
Amid the unprecedented economic crisis in Sri Lanka, the country's government has suspended the sales of fuel for non-essential vehicles for two weeks.
Only buses, trains and vehicles used for medical services and transporting food will be allowed to fill up with fuel in the country with 22 million residents, reports BBC.
To cope with the worst economic crisis in decades, the South Asian nation has also shut schools in urban areas and asked the officials to work from home.
Sri Lanka is in talks over a bailout deal as it struggles to pay for imports such as fuel and food, according to the report.
Sri Lanka is the first country to take the drastic step in halting sales of fuel to ordinary people "since the 1970s oil crisis when fuel was rationed in the US and Europe and speed limits introduced to reduce demand", Nathan Piper, head of oil and gas research at Investec, told the BBC.
He said the ban underlined the steep rise in oil pricing and limited foreign exchange reserves in Sri Lanka.
With an economy hit hard by the pandemic, rising energy prices and populist tax cuts, Sri Lanka lacks enough foreign currency to pay for imports of essential goods.
Acute shortages of fuel, food and medicines have helped to push the cost of living to record highs in the country, where many people rely on motor vehicles for their livelihoods, BBC reports.