The 05 major crude oil importers in 2018 were China, US, India, Japan and South Korea. All with huge populations and with mega cities linked through not just people commuting, but with heavy “on road transport” as well.

Population of Mumbai city alone is 18.7 million, only 04 million less than whole of Sri Lanka. Seoul and Tokyo are half of Sri Lanka.

But in 2018 Sri Lanka imported 32,520 crude oil barrels per day and was the 59 largest crude oil importer in that year. The cost? 2.1 million US dollars per day.

Sri Lanka’s total revenue from “exports” was 17 billion US dollars in 2017, proudly said, “the highest ever”. That’s 46.6 million US dollars per day.

Of the new registrations of 451,653 vehicles in 2017 of which around 50 percent are motor bicycles, and around 15,000 3W, the rest are all 04 wheelers. That works out to about 208,000 4W vehicles imported in 2017. Leaving a margin of about 10 percent for public and agriculture purposes, new private vehicles registered in 2017 total to about 190,000 vehicles.

On a very conservative calculation, if the c.i.f value of importing a vehicle is left at 18,000 US dollars at an average, the total cost on private vehicle imports in 2017 would have been around 9.6 million US dollars a day.

This goes to prove, out of 46.6 million US dollar income per day, we are spending 11.7 US dollars a day for import of vehicles and fuel. And in turn create massive traffic jams on city roads, robbing productive time of the people by hours and wasting fuel in immovable rows of vehicles, morning and evening.

Let’s not forget that this chaos is in the increase. Currently Sri Lanka has a total of 6.6 million vehicles including 3.5 million motor bikes.

What do presidential candidates, both mainstream party candidates and others who ridicule party candidates saying it is they who have answers to all problems, have with them as solutions to offer to this major crisis?

 Kusal Perera


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