Questions arise over plunging oil prices not filtering down to SL consumers

Questions arise over plunging oil prices not filtering down to SL consumers

Written by Staff Writer

18 Feb, 2016 | 9:04 pm

During the past few weeks, global oil prices plunged to record lows as Brent oil prices fell two percent on Tuesday, to below $33 per barrel.

In this backdrop, questions are being raised as to why the benefit of the dropping of oil prices are not being given to the Sri Lankan consumers.

Oil prices in the world markets which stood at a price between 60 to 65 US Dollars hit a low of $32 a barrel on Tuesday while else where a price of a barrel of crude oil is between 30 to 35 US Dollars.

This is seen a plunge of more than 50 percent. Compared to the plunge in world oil prices, the purchasing price of a barrel of crude oil by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation also dropped.

The last time the price of petrol and diesel in the domestic market were reduced was in January 2015 , and there has been no price reduction since then.

General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva on February 11, 2016 said ”price of a litre of petrol which can be sold with a profit of 52 rupees is being sold for 117 rupees. Rs.65  is being extorted from a litre of petrol. A litre of Diesel can be given for Rs.42 and that is sold for Rs.95 .  Rs.53 rupees is extorted from a litre…”

Meanwhile former president Mahinda Rajapaksa noted that there is no such opportunity by making such reductions.

He said ” You can say that the profits made by the government are being used for development purposes because the funds go to the government.However, what happens to the profits made by the Indian Company based here? It goes to India. It means the money is taken from our pockets and given to that company …”

Leader of the New Sama Samaja Party Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne also commenting on this issue said that the CPC is in turmoil, and they say that relief can only be provided after the situation is rectified.

He also noted that they must urge not to keep saying that they indebted the mistakes of the past but to charge it from those responsible and give the people the relief.

However, General Secretary of the CPC National Workers Union Ananda Palitha points out that the benefit of this has not been given to the people.He added that one main reason is the actions of the corrupt administration before January 8, 2015 and the arbitrary recruitment that took place, adding that at present the CPC is 400 Billion rupees in debt to the People’s Bank and the Bank of Ceylon.

Speaking further, he also said that the CPC must provide government concessions of more than Rs.300 billion and the government, private, and semi-government institutions are over Rs.12 billion  in debt to the CPC.

Speaking at an event today February 18,  subject Minister , Chandima Weerakkody also expressed his views in this regard. He noted that until the year 2014, the government was compelled to purchase crude oil at higher prices and sell them to the consumers at a lower price.

The minister also said that through that the Ceylon Petrolium Corporation incurred a serious amount of debt.

Minister Weerakkody stressed out that they have proposed for a programme to reduce the debt burden of the CPC. He added that as the government they have taken a decision to work on the cabinet paper that presented with a just policy which will see justice being meted out to the people in a transparent manner.

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