UNP union renews promise to reduce fuel prices

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Trumpeting that the newly elected government would reduce fuel prices soon, Convenor of UNP trade union organisation at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Ananda Palitha yesterday said they would hold a discussion with new Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka soon.

He told The Island that the government would be able to reduce one litre of petrol to Rs. 120 and one litre of Diesel to Rs. 100 after considering all costs of production and compulsory taxes.

Palitha stressed that the country’s entire economy was dependent on fuel and therefore it was important to reduce fuel prices as soon as possible.

Over the past few days, the price of a barrel of crude plummeted to the lowest price in recent years, but the former government had failed to pass the benefit on to consumers, he said, adding that the new government had promised to reduce prices as soon as they came into power.

"We are confident that the government will reduce fuel prices so that the people can benefit from the drop in crude oil price in the world market," Palitha noted.

He said the President would reduce gas prices, too.

"We will also discuss the situation of the country's only refinery at Sapugaskanda as the ageing plant is at a critical juncture needs to be upgraded. We will also which provide information about the corrupt oil deals and will take action against those who engaged in such deals."

Palitha assured that the new government would not privatise the CPC though UPFA accused the UNP of planning to do so during the recently-concluded election campaign.

It was clearly disclosed in 2005 that the government institutions would be upgraded to be more efficient, while reducing the wastage, he added.

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