Health, oil and electricity declared essential services

President Ranil Wickremesinghe published a notification in the Official Gazette effective September 3, 2022 (yesterday), again clarifying that the supply of electricity and all related services, the production of oil and the supply or distribution of fuel and health services are essential services for the maintenance of normal public life.

The Presidential Media Division (PMD) said that this notification to the Official Gazette was issued pursuant to the powers given to the President under Section 2 of the Essential Public Services Act No. 61 of 1979, as requested. made with the recommendations of the ministers. of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Energy and Energy to make health services, oil and electricity essential services.

Previously, an announcement was also released in August under the powers assigned to the president stating that these services are essential.

The Prime Minister’s Secretary was instructed to take action to table a resolution in Parliament regarding the Gazette notification, and after the resolution was passed, the order remained valid for one month.

The period of validity of this notification ended on September 2.

Since a request was again submitted to the President with the recommendations of the ministers concerned, steps have been taken to announce these services as essential services from September 3 through a new announcement in the Official Gazette. The government has also taken several steps to streamline these services to provide relief to the public.

The duration of the power outage was reduced with the restart of the Norochcholai Number One power station, while the QR code system was introduced for fuel distribution.

The Sapugaskanda oil refinery is once again operational, which should ensure an uninterrupted supply of locally refined petroleum products in addition to regular imports of finished products such as gasoline and diesel.

The government is also tackling the shortage of certain drugs in public and private hospitals with the help of donor countries and has also published a notice in the Official Gazette specifying the maximum retail prices (MRPs) of 43 essential drugs and equipment such as pulse oximeters and cardiac stents.

Michelle J. Kelley