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Indian Oil Corporation to Expand Operations in Sri Lanka

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will likely expand its operations in Sri Lanka by opening 50 fuelling stations. As the island nation is going through a major inflation crisis, this development will likely provide much-needed relief.
Lanka IOC Managing Director Manoj Gupta said the IOC would invest in storage tanks and other equipment. The dealers are expected to have the land and bear other infrastructure costs. He further expressed gratitude to the Sri Lanka government.

The LIOC was the only fuel retailer in Sri Lanka during the June-July fuel crisis when the bankrupt country faced extensive protests. Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), the state oil entity, went out of supplies in June, triggering essential goods and services shortages across the debt-ridden country. Currently, only the LIOC and CPC are running local fuel retail businesses. While the former runs over 216 retailers, the latter runs over 1,100.
Sri Lanka is currently exploring multiple ways to liberalise trade. The absence of foreign exchange to pay for fuel made Sri Lanka dependent on an Indian line of credit of USD 700 million, which expired in June.
Sri Lanka is currently going through its worst economic crisis since 1948. The export industry is deplorably hit by the fuel scarcity caused by the forex crisis.
Although Sri Lanka has tried negotiating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a possible bailout package, the latter has offered to restructure its debt. Even the World Bank has denied aid until a detailed macroeconomic policy is in place.

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