Sri Lanka’s energy minister has issued a stern warning regarding the nation’s gasoline supplies in light of its greatest economic crisis in more than 70 years. According to Sri Lankan politician Kanchana Wijesekera on Sunday, July 3, the country only had enough gasoline to last under normal demand for less than a day. Due to financial difficulties, Sri Lanka this week stopped selling gasoline and diesel for non-essential vehicles. This includes fuel, food, and medication imports. Wijesekera added that the nation still has 12,774 tonnes of diesel and 4,061 tonnes of gasoline in reserve. A supply of diesel is anticipated to arrive at the weekend, although Wijesekera warned that the country does not have enough money to pay for planned fuel and crude oil imports. Compared to the $587 million required for its scheduled exports, Sri Lanka’s central bank could only provide $125 million for gasoline purchases. Wijesekera explained that the country owes $800 million to seven vendors for purchases made earlier in the year.

The nation of 22 million people is going through its biggest economic crisis since achieving independence from the UK in 1948 as it cannot buy adequate necessities due to a lack of foreign currency. Sri Lanka missed a payment on its foreign debt in May for the first time in its history. The government has assisted export-driven businesses like textiles and apparel in surviving so the economy can generate sizable quantities of foreign currency. However, a news correspondent reports that the fuel supplies required to run the machinery in these companies and to transport items are currently running out.