UNP demands fuel price reduction

Gayantha Karunathilaka

The government has violated its own conditions for reducing fuel prices despite a favourable situation in the world market, the UNP charged yesterday.

UNP Spokesman Gayantha Karunathillaka, MP told a news conference in Colombo that Petroleum Resources Minister Susil Premajayanth had put forward three conditions for oil prices to be reduced; stocks had to be sold within 35 days, a barrel of crude oil should remain below USD 100 and such a rate should prevail continuously for six weeks.

All three conditions had been met, but there had been no relief for the consumer; Internationally, crude oil had hovered between US$ 79 and 84 for about seven weeks and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) had disposed of existing stocks within 35 days, Karunathilaka noted. The UNP spokesman said that in February this year when a barrel of oil went up from US$D 98 to USD 112, the government had acted fast to increase fuel prices by a big margin but it refused to pass on the benefit of a reduction of prices in the world market to the consumer.

The UNP asked whether oil was being imported from the World Market or from another planet.

Karunathillake said that on top of the various taxes being imposed, the CPC had been involved in importing low quality petrol.

The Ceylon Electricity Board had also heaped further burdens on the masses by imposing a big fuel surcharge. But it had failed to settle its dues to the CPC, he observed.


Courtesy: The Island