Fuel pricing formula ready but Ravi overseas

Govt. taxes on petrol, diesel amount to  Rs. 64.40, Rs. 28.00 respectively


By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Petroleum Resources Development Minister Chandima Weerakkody yesterday said that his ministry had already prepared the new fuel pricing formula and sent it to the Finance Ministry for recommendations.

Weerakkody told the media in Colombo that it was compulsory to get the Finance Ministry recommendations before the formula was submitted for Cabinet approval.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake was currently abroad attending the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland and, therefore, the government was left with no alternative but to wait till the minister  returned home to get his recommendation, Minister Weerakkody said.

The benefit of a decrease in oil prices in the world market did not accrue to Sri Lanka overnight, Minister Weerakkody said. "We are still selling what was purchased in October or even before that."

The pricing formula designed to align local fuel prices with the world market rates has been postponed several times in the past few months.

Oil prices continue to plummet in the world market.

According to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) statistics, it sells a litre of petrol at Rs. 117 which costs Rs. 113.39 including a tax of Rs. 64.40 a litre. Diesel costs the CPC Rs. 79.88 a litre including a tax of Rs. 28.02 a litre while the selling price is Rs. 95 a litre.

Skills Development and Vocational Training Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, present at the media briefing, highlighted that the continuous decreases in oil prices in the international market would have positive and negative effects in the economy of Sri Lanka as it could directly affect the tea trade which was one of the main stays of the national economy.

Sri Lanka was exporting tea mainly to Russia, Iran, Syria and Iraq and the economies of those countries were basically dependent on oil. That was the main reason for the reduction of tea prices in Sri Lanka, Samarasinghe said.

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