American Indulgence

Governor of the Central Bank Prof W D Lakshman addressing representatives from Sampath Bank PLC, UCSC, Norbloc AB, Yaala Labs (Pvt) Ltd and Linearsix (Pvt) Ltd

Mar 25, 2012 (LBO) – A concession granted by the United States to Sri Lanka on its sanctions on Iran means the island would not face an immediate total ban on importing crude from the Persian Gulf country, a report said. United States has asked Sri Lanka to scale down crude oil imports from Iran for the current year only by 15 percent, Petroleum Industries Minister, Susil Premajayantha, was quoted as saying bythe Sunday Times newspaper.

Such a reduction meant Sri Lanka would not face a total ban immediately, Premajayantha told the newspaper.

Earlier, a total ban was expected to come into force from June this year fuelling fears that the country may face a serious fuel crisis, the newspaper said.

Sri Lanka imports as much as 93 per cent of its annual crude oil requirements from Iran.

The concession to reduce crude oil imports only by 15 percent was a result of the appeal made to the US earlier, Premajayantha said.

The newspaper quoted a spokesman for the US embassy in Colombo as saying: The US is in active discussions with the Government of Sri Lanka about the plans to reduce imports of Iranian crude oil, but said he did not elaborate on the concession reported to have been gi