PM justifies need to increase fuel prices

Published : 9:10 am  May 14, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Yohan Perera and D. G. Sugathapala   

Defending the decision to increase fuel prices, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the prices were revised as a result of a surge in the price of fuel in the world market in a bid to stop the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) from incurring heavy losses.   

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe made these comments during the opening of a new Divisional Secretariat office in Hikkaduwa on Saturday(12). 

“Many talk about the fuel price hike today. A barrel of crude oil in the global market was US$ 35 in 2015. However it has now gone up to US$ 77 a barrel. This means the global price of crude oil has doubled in that space of time. Saudi Arabia is trying to increase the price of crude oil upto $80 a barrel but are facing stiff resistance from other countries nearby,” the Prime Minister said.   

He pointed out that the CPC had been making heavy losses lately. He said the total amount owed by two of its largest customers the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Srilankan Airlines exceeded Rs. 70 billion. “We cannot let the CPC to suffer any more losses. The only way to do this was by increasing fuel prices,” the Prime Minister added.   

However, he assured that the new mechanism put in place to monitor fuel prices meant that local fuel prices would be reduced in keeping with any reduction in world oil prices.