Sri Lanka hikes import duty on fuel despite global decline in prices

Sri Lanka hikes import duty on fuel despite global decline in prices

Sri Lanka hikes import duty on fuel despite global decline in prices

Written by Hassaan Shazuli

23 Apr, 2020 | 10:28 am

COLOMBO (News1st): Sri Lanka’s finance ministry has hiked import duty on fuel for two months from April 23, although oil prices crashed in the world market, owing to a decline in demand and shortage of storage capacity.

The surcharge on customs duty for Octane 95 petrol has been increased from Rs 15 to Rs 49 and doubled for Super Diesel from Rs 20 to Rs 40, a notice sent by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, as finance minister read.

Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle, in an internal letter, said the finance minister has also “agreed to withdraw the duty waiver of Rs 5 per litre” on Octane 92 petrol.

The duty waiver had been granted on March 13 and was expected to be in effect for two months, but the decision has been revised as the country continues to battle with an economic crisis amidst the novel coronavirus.

Meanwhile, finance minister Rajapaksa has also imposed a customs general duty of Rs 50 for Octane 92 and Octane 95 petrol, and Rs 25 for diesel.

Global oil prices fell into the negative range for the first time in history this week amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. West Texas Intermediate Crude was trading at less than 15 US dollars per barrel on Thursday morning.

Opposition lawmakers, citing this situation called on the government to pass on the benefit to the people, as fuel prices are yet to be revised in the south asian island.

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