President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday (03 January) issued an Extraordinary Gazette deeming the provision of several services as ‘essential services’ in the country.

This includes all institutions providing services/goods essential to the community, supply of electricity, petroleum, fuel and discharging, transporting, storing goods from ports and airports.

Accordingly, the gazette states that any Public Corporation, Government Department, Local Authority, Co-operative Society or any branch thereof being a Department or Corporation or Local Authority or Co-operative Society, which is engaged in provision of the below listed services, will be deemed as essential services henceforth:

– All services connected to the supply of electricity

– The supply or distribution of petroleum products and fuel

– The discharge, carriage, landing, storage, delivery and removal of articles of food or drink, or coal, oil or fuel from vessels within any port as defined for the purposes of the Customs Ordinance (Chapter 235) 

– The provision and maintenance of facilities for transport services by air, including airports and ports.