Written by Nathasha De Alwis
14 May, 2018 | 9:18 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Serious concerns are being raised by the transportation, fisheries and power & energy sectors, in the wake of the fuel price hike.
The price of a litre of 92 octane petrol was increased by 20 rupees while the price of a litre of diesel increased by 14 rupees. The price of a liter of kerosene was increased by 57 rupees.
Private bus owners are demanding that bus fares be increased by between 10 and 15 percent. At a meeting between representatives of bus owners associations and the Transport Secretary held at the Ministry today, a consensus was reached that a final decision would be made tomorrow (May 15th). A Ministry spokesperson said a final decision would be subject to the decision made by the Cabinet of Ministers.
A majority of fishermen in Negombo, Chilaw, Puttalam, and Jaffna refrained from setting out to sea today. Fishermen are demanding that the price of diesel be reduced. The price of kerosene increased by 12% following the fuel price hike. Kerosene is an essential source of energy not only for fishermen but also for low-income homes without electricity.
Minister of Finance and Mass Media, Mangala Samaraweera said on the 10th of May that they have taken steps to provide coupons for Samurdhi beneficiaries who use these oil lamps via the Samurdhi program. Co-cabinet spokesperson Minister Rajitha Senaratne on the same day (May 10) said they have increased the price of kerosene to stop it being misused by individuals who mix it with diesel.
Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development, Vijith Vijyamuni Zoysa expressing his views on the matter said the kerosene subsidy is 4 billion rupees. He stated that he will submit a cabinet note at the cabinet meeting tomorrow (May 15), to extend this subsidy to multi-day trawlers and single day fishing boats, which will come into effect on 18th of May.
According to him, there are irregularities in the issuing of coupons, therefore if they add colourant to the fuel, then they can identify it if it is sold elsewhere and take legal action. He believes that the Petroleum Corporation should embark on a special program for this.
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