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SL to prioritise tourism for gas, fuel distribution

Colombo, March 18 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has informed the Energy Ministry to prioritise the tourism sector when distributing gas and fuel as the country faced a shortage in both commodities due to a foreign exchange crisis, an official said on Friday.

An official from the Tourism Ministry told Xinhua news agency that Ranatunga held discussions with the Energy Minister this week so that the tourism sector could continue operations without any setbacks.

According to official figures, nearly 235,000 tourists have arrived in the country so far this year and nearly 50,000 tourists were currently in the country.

During discussions, Ranatunga pointed out that it was in the national interest to provide assistance to the tourism industry as the sector was one of the largest foreign exchange earners.

Sri Lanka has in recent months been facing a foreign exchange shortage, which has led to a fuel, gas and power crisis.

In a televised speech on Wednesday, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa urged people to remain patient while the government was in discussions with friendly nations and the International Monetary Fund to come out of this shortage.


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