Government hospitals, however, are getting almost uninterrupted power supply, but a doctors’ body has warned that there would be shortage of medicines and the health system may collapse if the situation continues. Private hospitals use their own power generators but getting fuel for those generators is getting difficult. The manager of the Petroleum Corporation used to approve their fuel requests. Now the power has been handed over to the Government Agent (a higher-level government official) of the district.
People have largely stopped using private vehicles and are commuting through public transport. It’s because they have to wait in long queues to get fuel for their vehicles. Sometimes they don’t get fuel even after waiting for hours.
Offices are using their own power generators. Working from home also is not possible because there is no electricity at homes. Some sectors have been severely affected. For example, hotel owners suffer a lot without tourists.
The government is offering no relief in terms of free ration. People have to spend their own money to buy food and groceries et al. Those who have money can buy, those who don’t can’t. Some low-income families though are entitled to Samurthi benefits. Using this, they can purchase some things to fulfil their basic needs. The price rise has affected the amount of things they get under this welfare programme. Also, university students are given some money for their expenses. It’s called the mahapola. This amount has been cut since the last two months.
The US dollar rate against Sri Lankan rupees reached the height of Rs. 308.00. Ajith Nivard Cabraal, who was appointed as 16th governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka last September, resigned from his post following the resignation of the cabinet ministers. He also served as the 12th governor of the bank from July 2006 to January 2015. During his first term in office, Mr Cabraal helped stabilize the economy of the country. This time, he was against the government decision of seeking IMF assistance to come out of the present economic crisis.