Foreign investments

CIO boss in Lanka gets special residency visa to attract more foreign investment

Colombo: The head of Lanka IOC, the subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation in Sri Lanka, has been granted a special residence permit under the new policy aimed at attracting foreign investment to the cash-strapped island nation.

The new regime was introduced by new investment promotion minister Dhammika Perera, a former business tycoon who became a minister early last month.

Perera’s action plan to generate foreign exchange included granting longer resident visas to foreign investors.

“It was a great pleasure and immense happiness to receive the five-year residency visa today,” tweeted Manoj Gupta, Indian Oil Company’s Head of Local Operations.

News of Gupta’s visa came as the LIOC had established itself since the beginning of this week as the only source of fuel for heavily harassed private vehicle owners.

Perera, the new minister has instructed the Department of Immigration and Emigration to ensure that the number of tourists arriving in Sri Lanka is updated daily at 9 a.m. on the official Twitter account from Monday July 4, news portal newsfirst.lk reported.

The minister has also decided to extend the validity of spousal visa issuance to foreign nationals who marry Sri Lankans from one year to five years, the report added.

Sri Lanka’s unprecedented economic crisis caused by the shortage of foreign exchange has led to a severe crisis in the energy sector. Fuel shortages led to long queues at retailers and with the end of India’s $700 million line of credit, pumps dried up.

The Sri Lankan government is exploring options to buy oil at a discount from Russia, as the island nation desperately seeks to replenish its dwindling fuel stocks amid an unprecedented economic crisis due to a crippling fuel shortage. foreign exchange reserves.

The state-owned fuel entity Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) limited retail sales to essential services only, further deepening the crisis and heightening public anger and discontent.

The LIOC expanded its distribution network by supplying fuel continuously when the CPC pumps were largely dry.

The LIOC operates over 200 retail stations compared to the CPC’s over 1,100. They kept its pumps open throughout the day on Tuesday as the cash-strapped government entity’s gas stations were not operating in the island nation.

On Monday, the Sri Lankan government announced that only essential services will operate from midnight until July 10 and that all other operations will be temporarily suspended as the country in crisis faces a severe fuel shortage.

A LIOC spokesman said they distributed gasoline to private vehicle owners on Tuesday, but had to limit problems due to demand.

The country on the verge of bankruptcy, with an acute currency crisis that led to a default on external debt payments, announced in April that it was suspending the repayment of nearly $ 7 billion in external debt due for this year on approximately $25 billion due through 2026.

Sri Lanka’s total external debt stands at $51 billion.

Sri Lankans continue to languish in long queues for fuel and cooking gas as the government is unable to find dollars to finance imports.

So far, it is estimated that there have been twelve deaths in the fuel queues due to exhaustion, physical ailments or accidents.

Indian lines of credit for fuel and basic necessities have provided lifelines until ongoing talks with the International Monetary Fund can lead to a possible bailout.

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