Fuel pricing formula no more – 10th of the month becomes a normal day.
Posted on November 9th, 2018

By : A.A.M.NIZAM – MATARA

Vehicle owners in the country had a peaceful and sound sleep last night, and they woke up for a nice day this morning.  The 10th of each month in the recent past was a miserable day for vehicle owners as on this day they faced a price increase of petrol and diesel.  Hence on the 9th of each vehicle owners queued up at petrol sheds to get their vehicle tanks filled.  Three wheelers got one or two additional cans also filled as it would ease their burden for one or two additional days.  By afternoon on the 9th many petrol sheds displayed NO PETROL – NO DIESEL”” boards to keep their available petrol and diesel reserved to get advantage from the price increases that were to become effective on the midnight of that day.

The monthly increases were carried out under the pretext of a fraudulent world price increase on fuel and reportedly based on a so-called pricing formula.  The butterfly government failed to disclose this pricing formula and the loquacious butterfly Minister kept on saying for several months that even he does not know the pricing formula and it was a very complicated one but at last he was forced to disclose the said formula last month owing to heavy criticism from vehicle users and the general public.

The short sighted monthly price increases of fuel not only affected vehicle owners it led to a spiral of price increases for instance increases in thee wheel charges, bus fares, transport charges related to rice, vegetables, coconut and other goods and even increase in the price of meals and even in the price of a plain tea, which is the precious drink of poor wage earners unlike arrack and whisky consumed by the affluent class.  This clearly showed the mishandling of the ignoramus designer turned Finance Minister’s lack of economic management capabilities.

Vehicle owners may have had a peaceful and around sleep last night since the Finance Minister of the new government Prime Minister Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa had already announced with the recent reduction in fuel prices and the reduction of some other essential products and services the abandoning of the despicable pricing formula. The prudent action taken by the Prime Minister has been widely welcomed and three-wheel drivers and private bus operators have voluntarily reduced their fare charges compelling SLTB also to reduce their fares accordingly. In addition to this restaurant owners too have announced reliction of prices of their products.  This is a commendable example to show that unlike the butterfly clan which fleeced the blood of the people for the last 3 ½ years imposing taxes on everything without any sympathy to the down trodden class of people these people are committed to ease the burden of people in whatever the way they could and dedicate themselves to build t0his country and revive the economy.

The newly appointed Petroleum Sector Development State Minister Mrs. Pavithra Wanniarachchi upon assuming her duties has confirmed the discarding of the despicable Pricing formula and has assured steps will be taken to further reduce fuel prices.  She has said instead of importing refined fuel products from Singapore steps will be taken to import crude oil and get them refined at Sapugaskanda.

During the previous government of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa the world prices of oil increased steeply and hence that government made arrangement to get fuel products from Iran at concessionary rates and to make payments in Rupees instead of U.S.Dollars.  Such possibilities should be explored by the new government/.

During the recent past there were many newspaper and website articles critical of the oil price increases.  I append below to show how stupid was some of the butterfly government Ministers on this subject.

The State Minister for Finance Eran Wickremaratne addressing a media conference held at the Finance Ministry on 11th May this year said that increase of fuel prices was good for the country as it would reduce environmental pollution. He said that it is the intention of the government to make use of solar power as an alternate power source.

Pa.Cha.Ranawaka who is notorious for making stupid utterances addressing a political meeting during the 2015 elections said the price of a barrel of petrol was U.S.Dollar 70 and the price of a litre of petrol without taxes Rs. 63.  It was this kind of concocted lies he made to fool the people at that time

An article published in Lankaweb website on 11th May this year with the courtesy of Mail on Line (U.K) said that Sri Lanka sharply raises fuel prices under IMF pressure. It said Sri Lanka hiked fuel prices by up to 130 percent following pressure from the International Monetary Fund and its central bank to reduce the burden of heavy subsidies on its struggling economy. It said Sri Lanka had to secure a $1.5-billion IMF bailout two years ago after a balance of payments crisis and has struggled to limit huge losses at the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, the country’s biggest oil company. The article further stated that the IMF has said it will only release the next tranche of its bailout loan if Sri Lanka implements a controversial formula to adjust fuel prices based on the cost of production

This article confirms that the despicable pricing formula was only a prescription given by the IMF.

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