According to the findings of the Cabinet Sub Committee on the cost of living the government announced yesterday that it intends to increase the cost of fuel in an attempt to improve fiscal management. This change will be effective from midnight onwards (Yesterday)
According to the state minister for money Nivard Cabral the revising of prices which last took place almost 21 months ago on the 10th of September 2019 was done off necessity as while the government understands that this may impose a considerable burden on the general public the change was done to prevent the losses suffered by Ceylon Petroleum which according to the minister suffered over $300 million loss in 2020. This loss would only be further compounded by the fact that the government spends over $3 billion on fuel imports and this is being done without the steady support of major sectors such as tourism.
As of midnight yesterday the price of Octane 92 Petrol would have increased by LKR 20 per liter to value at LKR 157, Octane 95 Petrol would value at LKR 184, an increase of LKR 23. Auto diesel will show an increase of LKR 7 to mark the new value as LKR 111. Super diesel will record a new price of LKR 144, a LKR 12 increase. Kerosene oil too would show an increase in its price to record the new value at LKR 77, a LKR 7 increase.
The revising of the prices without a doubt may strike a blow on confidence of the people on the government which has already worsened due to the sudden increase in Co-vid 19 cases which many speculate to be even higher than the numbers that are released by the government. The effects of such a change would mostly be felt by those in the transportation sector which has already been affected by the travel restrictions imposed thus cutting of the daily income of many.
The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) general secretary Sagara Kariyawasam released a statement from the party calling for the Energy Minister to take responsibility for the price changes and resign, the SLPP points out that this price increase would not have been necessary had the minister taken the appropriate steps at the right time which he has failed to do according to the SLPP.
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