The government has decided to dispatch 50 fuel bowsers daily to meet the kerosene needs of the fishing community, the Presidential Media Division (PMD) said.
A special letter related to this was sent today to district secretaries, provincial fisheries ministry secretaries, and provincial cooperative ministry secretaries by President's Director General (Community Affairs) Keerthi Thennakoon regarding steps taken by the government to ensure regular and continuous distribution of kerosene for the fishing community.
The Petroleum Corporation had approved the release of 357 bowsers carrying kerosene to meet the needs of the fishing community last week.
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.
Tennakoon pointed out that despite this additional expense, the supply of kerosene to the fishing community has not been met properly, so that the fishing community has not been able to go ahead with their fishing activities.
Ensuring food security is considered 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 learnt that the Ministry of Fisheries has delegated 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 learnt 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, either through private, cooperative, or other authorized fuel stations or with the assistance of the Navy.
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