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  • DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS:Sri Lanka becomes first country in the world to ration petrol since the 1970’s oil shock

Sri Lanka becomes first country in the world to ration petrol since the 1970’s oil shock

Tags: International Relations

Sri Lanka has become the first country in the world after the 1970’s “oil shock” to suspend the sale of petrol to non-essential vehicles as it faces its worst economic crisis in decades. The government of Sri Lanka ordered rationing of fuel on 28 June 2022.

  • For the next two weeks, only buses, trains and vehicles used for medical services and transporting food will be allowed to fill up with fuel.
  • Sri Lanka is the first country to take such a  drastic step in halting sales of fuel to ordinary people "since the 1970s oil crisis, when fuel was rationed in the US and Europe and speed limits introduced to reduce demand".
  •  Sri Lanka which is facing its worst economic crisis after Independence has shut the schools while officials have been  told to work from home.
  • The South Asian nation is in talks over a bailout deal with International Monetary Fund (IMF) as it struggles to pay for imports such as fuel and food.

For Sri Lankan economic crisis kindly also see 2 April 2022 post 

Oil Crisis of 70s

There were a series of energy crises between 1967 and 1979 caused by problems in West Asia  which led to sharp increase in the price of oils in the world market, causing a world wide economic crisis.  The first oil crisis was caused by the Yom Kippur War 1973 and the second was due to the Iranian revolution of 1979. It  disrupted oil supply from the region and created the  economic crisis in the world also known as “oil shock”.

Yom Kippur War

  • In October of 1973 Egypt and Syria (supported by a number of Arab nations) launched an attack against Israel which came to be known as the Yom-Kippur War. The United States supported Israel with arms and the Arab countries retaliated by banning the sale of oil to the United States, Canada and other western countries which supported Israel.
  • It shocked the world oil market and created supply shortage leading to a jump in the oil price from around $3 barrel to $12 barrels. It created a world wide inflation and rationing of  petrol and diesels in Europe and the US.  Many developing countries like India faced balance of payment crises and they had to take loans from the International Monetary Fund to cope with the crisis .
  • The ban on the sale of oil by the Arab countries led Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was lifted in 1974. 

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