Sri Lanka Brief
FeaturesA fuel fraud exposed by JVP

A fuel fraud exposed by JVP


01 July 2011
The JVP says that a massive fraud has incurred behind the sub standard fuel pumped into several vehicles during the last few days.The JVP Central Committee Member Mr Anura Dissanayake disclosed this at a media briefing held today.

“We examined why many motor bicycles, tri-shows and motor vehicles have been malfunctioned after puming fuel from various petrol stations.   

Minister Susil Premajayantha has presented a Cabinet paper on 08th March to buy fuel for 3 months instead of buying daily.  Accordingly Cabinet approval has been granted to buy fuel from the registered suppliers with the Petroleum Corporation.  Meanwhile another Cabinet paper has been presented on 06.04.2011 to buy 2,40,000 metric tons of diesel from United Arab Emirates without calling tenders.  Permission has been sought considering it as a transaction between two states.

But this is not a transaction between two countries.  If so, it should be with the mediation of the Foreign Ministry.  The Secretary to the Ministry has no permission to carry out any transaction with another company. This is fuel is bought on credit.  Hence it should be done through the Foreign Ministry and Finance Ministry.  But the particular company is not a state owned one but a private company.  

The normal criteria of buying fuel in the Petroleum Corporation have not been followed in this instance. 

In the meantime officials of the oil refinery had informed new stocks should be arrived by 10-11 in last June.  Usually tenders should be called before 35 days.  Accordingly if fuel is needed by 10-11 June, tenders should be called by 5th May.

Accordingly a tender was called for 20,000 metric tons of petrol on 5th May.  The tender was opened on 25th of May with a 20 days period. Not a single company forwarded a tender saying it is unable to supply within the stipulated period.  Only Reliance Company of India forwarded a tender.  As only one Company tendered it was cancelled and another tender was called to be opened on 31st May which also mentioned fuel should be supplied by June 10-11.  But as the sole Company could supply fuel only by June 16th and the tender was rejected.  

Ultimately on an obstinate decision of the Secretary to the Ministry 20,000 metric tons of fuel has been imported.  It was the UAA National Company mentioned earlier.  

Normally an investigation is done at the Kolonnawa laboratory before unloading and on its ratification fuel is unloaded.  The investigation revealed that the fuel is not in the mandatory standard.  Accordingly the Secretary earlier did not give permission but later it was granted.

Fuel is distributed only after performing a comprehensive investigation.  I say with much responsibility such an investigation was not carried out before distribution of this stock.

Later complaints began to galore on distribution that the fuel is contaminated.  By that time 20,000 metric tons had been distributed.  Subsequently the Corporation stopped distributing the rest 3000 metric tons of fuel.

But Minister Susil Premajayantha says more fuel was required during the Poson festival which is an utter lie.  The fuel requirement was informed in the first week of May.  This transaction was done creating an artificial shortage.

Next the Minister says water has accumulated due to rain.  There was heavy rain in last January but nothing of this sort happened.  Besides there is a floating roof on fuel storage tanks and there is no way of mixing with water.   

There is no base in his argument of contaminated fuel as the external pump on fuel tanks is two feet above the floor level.  There is an operation level above 2.2 meters which also evades contamination. 

Hence we ask the Minister who is responsible to this state of affairs?  It is the commission finally for which the people this country has to pay off.  Who will be responsible for this damage?” asked, Mr Dissanayake.  

Back to Top