Sri Lanka Brief
FeaturesIncrease in fuel prices brings Govt. & IOC big profits while masses are burdened – JVP

Increase in fuel prices brings Govt. & IOC big profits while masses are burdened – JVP

The price hike of fuel this time is the highest in the history of Sri Lanka and the government and Indian Oil Company are earning a large profit from the price hike says the Information Secretary of the JVP Parliamentarian Vijithe Herath at a press conference held today (12th) at the party head office to apprise the media regarding the stand of the JVP on the latest increase in fuel prices.
  He said the government is burdening the masses to find money for its frauds, corruption and waste and Rajapaksa regime is jeopardizing the economy of the country to hold on to its power. He said the JVP vehemently opposes the reckless move of the government’s to increase prices of fuel.

He said the government is holding fake pageants, make room for frauds and corruption, allow its henchmen to swindle public money and continue to oppress the people as a means of collecting money for its wasteful spending. It is in such a background fuel prices were severely increased from midnight yesterday.

Billions were lost by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) due to signing of the hedging agreement. Hedging agreement was signed with the approval of the whole cabinet. Much more money was spent for legal action in international courts due to this agreement. Importing substandard petrol dragged the Corporation to another crisis. Government’s arbitrary projects such as ‘Mihin Lanka’ as well as companies such as SriLankan for which political henchmen were appointed for higher positions made them losing ventures. Eight state enterprises including Mihin Air and SriLankan are indebted to CPC.

Rs.21000 million has been spent for the ‘Dayata Kirula’ exhibition that is continuing at present. Also, Rs.14540 million has been spent during the past 6 months to buy vehicles for the government. Vehicles valued at Rs.270 million have been bought for the Presidential Security Division. All this is wasteful spending of public money earned by burdening the masses. The 3% devaluation of the rupee is an added burden on the masses.

According to the Department of Government Information the revision of fuel prices is done while the country possesses enough fuel storage for 40 days. This means the fuel for which the prices were increased had been brought down 40 days ago. Hence, there is no justifiable reason to increase prices of fuel at this moment. The media announcement states fuel prices are increased expecting an increase in the world market. Also, no fuel had been distributed from CPC from yesterday evening till midnight yesterday. This means the government gets the whole profit of the increased prices.

There is another side for this. The Indian Oil Company too earns a large profit due to this increase of prices. Our country doesn’t get this profit. The government builds its ‘wonder of Asia’ by burdening the masses. The government not only pawned the lives of the people for its existence but has begun to pawn the economy of the country.

The government states a subsidy would be given to public transportation and other selected modes of transport. We remember the government’s statement when the price of petrol went up recently. It stated a subsidy would be given to three wheelers. These are all lies. They are promises that will never be fulfilled.  If the government intends giving a subsidy it should be given not only to public transport but also to fisher folk, school vans, three wheelers and other institutions that provide services to the public. Also, a large volume of electricity is generated by thermal power stations. As such, all those who use electricity too should be given the subsidy. This is why we say government’s promise is a fraud and it will never be fulfilled.

Before the fuel prices were increased the government earned a profit of Rs.12 from a liter of petrol. The government had levied a tax of Rs.35 for each liter of petrol. A share of this tax was used to minimize the loss to the CPC and the balance was retained by the government. After the increase in prices it is possible to gain a profit of Rs.20 from petrol and a minimum profit of Rs.10 from diesel. Indian Oil Company gets a profit of about Rs.25 from a liter of petrol and Rs.15 from diesel.  This profit directly goes to India.

When we look at it in another angle increasing fuel prices would make the production in the county very costly. It will affect agriculture as well. This is a situation that jeopardizes the economy of the country. Hence, we demand the government to stop increasing fuel prices to cover its wasteful spending. We will hold agitations in all parts of the country against this vile move of the government. The agitations in Anuradhapura, Matara and Colombo will be held tomorrow (13th) at 4.00 p.m.”

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