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News


Diesel price hike put on hold till New Year

By Anurangi Singh
The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Chairman, Asantha De Mel yesterday said that diesel prices will be increased by two rupees after the new-year festive season.
“It is necessary to increase the retail price of diesel as the world market priceof crude oil has risen up to 74 Dollars a barrel. Discussions will be held to decide on the amount of the increase and from the day it will take effect. The increase will be just two rupees, as it can affect the industrial sector of the country,” he said.
He further said that Petroleum Minister A.H.M. Fowzie is abroad to attend an Islamic conference and a decision would be taken once he returns to the country on April 5. According to CPC sources it is essential to increase diesel prices as well due to the heavy losses incurred by the corporation. “The Ceylon Electricity Board, the security forces and the Treasury are heavily in debt to us amounting to millions of rupees. None of these dues are paid back and top of this not even the interests are paid. Therefore we cannot afford to go on with sustaining more losses by not increasing our retail prices,” an official of the CPC said. The CPC increased petrol prices on Friday by Rs. 7 per litre. At present the diesel price stands at Rs. 60 a litre and with the anticipated increase it would cost Rs 62 a litre.
Meanwhile the Lanka IOC is also contemplating to increase the diesel price even though from when this will come into effect is not decided. The Managing Director of LIOC said that they are currently running at a loss and that increasing the price is a must.
“We are currently incurring a loss of three rupees per litre. At least a litre should be increased by three rupees. We have not decided on anything yet but definitely there will be an increase of the diesel price.” the Managing Director of LIOC R Ramakrishnan said.
An increase in diesel price would have a cascading effect on the prices of almost all commodities and bus fares which will further contribute towards the increasing cost of living.