The Cabinet of Ministers has green-lighted opening up the fuel import and retail sales market to companies from oil-producing nations.

These companies will be selected on their ability to import fuel and operate without foreign exchange requirements from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) and other banks for the first few months of operations, Minister of Power & Energy Kanchana Wijesekara said in a tweet.

According to him, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) will be the service provider for logistics, stocking and distribution with a service fee charged from the selected companies.

Selected outlets of the existing 1,190 belonging to the CEYPETCO and new outlets will be made available for Lanka IOC and the new companies selected, he explained further.

The proposal for this was tabled by the Minister of Power & Energy, for entering into long-term agreements with selected companies in oil-producing countries by following the formal procedure.

Approximately, 90% of Sri Lanka’s fuel demand is fulfilled by the CPC, and the remaining 10% by Lanka IOC, the IndianOil’s subsidiary in Sri Lanka.

Ensuring an uninterrupted fuel supply to the country has become a challenge due to the current foreign exchange crisis in Sri Lanka, the Government Information Department said in a statement.

Accordingly, long-term agreements signed with selected companies in foreign oil-producing countries will allow them to import and sell fuel using their own funds, in a manner that does not put pressure on the foreign exchange issue in Sri Lanka.