Written by Ramesh Irugalbandara
11 May, 2018 | 1:05 am
Colombo (News1st) – Domestic fuel prices increased with effect from midnight tonight (May 10).
As per the decision the new prices will be:
92 octane petrol (1 ltr): Rs. 137 (increased by Rs. 20)
95 octane petrol (1 ltr): Rs. 148 (increased by Rs.20)
Lanka auto diesel (1 ltr): Rs. 109 (increased by Rs. 14)
Super diesel (1 ltr): Rs. 119 (increased by Rs. 9)
Kerosine oil (1 ltr): Rs. 101 (increased by Rs. 57)
Usually, fuel price revisions are released closer to midnight inorder to prevent frantic attempts by the public to buy fuel. However, this time around Ministers began dropping hints of an impending fuel price hike since Thursday (May 10th) morning.
Minister of Science, Technology and Research Sarath Amunugama speaking to the media at around 10.30am stated expressly that there could be a price hike due to instability in the middle east region following the announcement that the US is pulling out of the Iran deal.
Then at around noon Dr. Rajitha Senaratne dropped the bombshell and announced that the prices have increased as he listed them out to the media.
Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraeera later on Thursday ar around 4.15pm explained that the Government would not be able to provide fuel at the previous prices due to increase in world market prices of oil.
Soon after the initial statement by Dr. Amunugama people began queuing at petrol stations, this increased exponentially soon after Minister Senaratne made the announcement.
Our correspondents in most of the major cities noted that this rush to buy fuel also caused severe traffic Congestion in some areas. There were plenty of people who expressed their displeasure over the increase in fuel prices as well as the manner in which it was announced.
One particularly intelligent petrol pump operator remarked that people lose more money wasting by consuming petrol while staying in ques.
Joint Cabinet Spokesperson, Minister Rajitha Senaratne, said the decision to increase fuel prices was made last night (May 9), during a meeting of cabinet ministers under the auspices of President Maithripala Sirisena.
Minister Senaratne noted that they reached a decision to increase the price of kerosene by Rs 57 as certain diesel vehicles have begun to mix kerosene in with their fuel in a bid to lower costs. However, he did not that samurdhi beneficiaries and fishermen will be exempt from the kerosene price increase.
The introduction of a fuel price formula was once of the cornerstone requests made by the IMF inorder to release the next tranche of the extended fund facility. When questioned whether the price increase was the result of the formula coming into effect, Minister Senaratne said that this was not the result of the formula and remarked that this was merely a price revision.
However, Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera who addressed the media later on in the day said that this pricing formula would aim to adjust the prices of fuel every 2 months.
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