President Director General (Community Affairs) Mr. Keerthi Thennakoon has sent a special letter dated 22 November 2022 to the District Secretaries, Provincial Fisheries Ministry Secretaries and Provincial Cooperative Ministry Secretaries regarding steps taken by the government to ensure regular and continuous distribution of kerosene for the fishing community.
Accordingly, the government has decided to release 50 fuel bowsers daily to meet the kerosene needs of the fishing community.
As at last week, the Petroleum Corporation had approved the release of 357 kerosene bowsers to meet the needs of the fishing community. However, the fuel stations had only obtained 206 bowsers (58%). The government has borne an additional cost of US $ 3.3 million for this purpose. However, Mr. Tennakoon pointed out that despite this additional expense, the supply of kerosene to the fishing community has not been done properly and the fishing community has not been able to carry out their fishing activities.
Ensuring food security is considered as a prime responsibility of the government and it is expected to meet the nutritional needs of the people through the current bountiful fish harvest. Therefore, it has been informed that the Ministry of Fisheries has delegated the responsibility to the Petroleum Corporation to determine the amount of fuel required by the fishermen and the areas where they should receive it.
It is also informed that the Secretaries of the Provincial Fisheries Ministries and Provincial Cooperative Ministries, Department of Fisheries, together with the Petroleum Corporation, have handed over the responsibility to the Navy to supply the required kerosene to the fishermen within the approved limits, through private, cooperative or other authorized fuel stations or with the assistance of the Navy.