If President honors his pledge, petrol can be sold at Rs 101 – Gammanpila
Posted on October 22nd, 2018

Courtesy Adaderana

Since the government introduced the fuel price formula in July 2018, many groups had requested the release of the formula in terms of Right to Information Act; yet, all requests were turned down quoting Section 5(1)(c)(iv) of the Act which states that the government can refuse to divulge its economic policies, says MP Udaya Gammanpila.

However, the price formula is not an economic policy; in fact, the policy was the decision to prepare the price formula, MP said.

Gammanpila says that in this backdrop, they also sent a letter dated 11 September 2018 requesting the price formula, which as usual, was turned down as well.

He says that while they silently accepted the government’s stand when their other requests were rejected, they appealed against this decision, threatening to file the first ever fundamental rights petition on violation of the right to information, in the event of rejection of the appeal.

In terms of the Act, the decision on the appeal should be made within three weeks and their appeal completed three weeks on 17 October, pointed out Gammanpila.  Hence, Ministry of Finance sent him a letter on October 18, informing that they accepted the appeal and fuel price formula was attached therein, according to him.

Before sending the letter, Minister of Finance had also held a media conference to disclose the price formula in want of to show the country that they voluntarily released the formula, says the MP. However, the truth is that the government only reluctantly compelled to disclose the formula because of their threat of legal action, said MP Gammapila.

Further commenting, Gammanpila says that, according to the price formula, the government charges Rs 54 as taxes on a petrol liter and President Sirisena promised to remove all taxes on fuel in Chapter 10 of his election manifesto.

Therefore, if the president removes the taxes as promised, a petrol liter can be sold at Rs 101, pointed out the MP.

MP Udaya Gammanpila also urged the President to honour his election pledge and remove the taxes on fuel.

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