BY Thameenah Razeek
A proposal has been submitted to the Ministry of Finance, requesting to increase prices of domestic LP gas by a significant margin, Chairman, Litro Gas Lanka, Theshara Jayasinghe said yesterday (30).
He said, the company has spent its ten-year profit of Rs 9 billion to cover the loss caused by the currency crisis in 2021 and 2022.
He was speaking at a media briefing organised by the Presidential Media Centre.
Jayasinghe also said the company has to deal with a Rs 1500 loss for every cylinder of gas when shipping, and a price increase was warranted to balance income and expense.
However, Litro Lanka is now releasing approximately 30,000 more gas cylinders than is required on a daily basis. Approximately million or more gas cylinders have been released into the market in the last ten days.
“For April, an order of 30,000 MT of gas has been prepared. The Cabinet has been asked to raise the price of an LP Gas cylinder. It is impossible to predict how much it will increase. They are classified as confidential within the organisation. It has not been decided whether the price will be raised in two or three weeks. Even now, we are operating at a loss of approximately Rs 4.5 billion,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said despite the fact that their company was initially subject to the Consumer Affairs Act; their line ministry was now under the purview of the Finance Ministry.
“Because cylinder of gas distributed to the market by Litro Lanka is comparatively cheap, there is a high demand, and a black market has developed. We have also called for bids for the next gas tender, and we went to embassies and handed over letters inviting bidders. We have also started calling for tenders through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he said.
Speaking further, Jayasinghe said Litro Gas Lanka has launched an internal investigation into allegations levelled against islandwide Litro gas dealers that a cylinder of gas was being sold at inflated prices, resulting in a black market.
He said there are 14, 000 dealers in the island and only 200 employees work for the company. He also said they have requested Police assistance and State intelligence to deal with dealers involved in the black market.
He also said anyone experiencing such irregularities should contact Litro Gas Lanka directly or file a complaint with the Police.
“We have not yet raised prices, and no one can sell gas cylinders for a higher price,” he said.