Fuel price hike in the pipeline, warns unionist

‘Govt. should increase prices or reduce taxes on oil’



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by Maheesha Mudugamuwa


Head of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya branch at the Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Ananda Palitha yesterday said an increase in petroleum prices could be averted only by reducing current taxes on petroleum imports.


Palitha said that in view of the increasing world crude oil prices, the government had to either increase market prices here or reduce heavy taxes currently levied on petroleum products.


Palitha told The Island that the CPC incurred losses to the tune of Rs. 380 mn a day.


The CPC owed Rs. 350 bn to state-owned banks and its situation was due to the supply of fuel to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and SriLankan Airlines, he said.


Last month, Lanka IOC increased the price of 92 octane petrol by Rs. 9 per litre and the price of diesel by Rs. 5 per litre. The price Extra Premium Euro 03 was increased by Rs. 5 per litre and Extra Premium 95 octane by Rs. 2 per litre. Accordingly, the revised price of a petrol litre would be Rs.126 and the price of a litre of diesel would be Rs. 100.


Palitha said the government should match the Lanka IOC prices if the CPC was to be prevented from going belly up.


Sources said that the pressure on the CPC had increased due to sharp increase in the sale of diesel in CPC-controlled filling stations from 4,500 metric tonnes to 5,500 MT and petrol from 2,500 MT to 3,000 MT daily because Lanka IOC had increased petrol and diesel prices.


Sources said that the price increase would be effected, but the government was still to decide whether the announcement should be made before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year on April 14 or thereafter.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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