People Get Fuel Price Shock

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Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekara admitted yesterday (24), the recent fuel price increase was carried out in accordance with the fuel pricing formula approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. Cabinet approved a revision to transportation and other service charges to reflect the increase in fuel prices.

Accordingly, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) announced a shocking fuel price increase that went into effect yesterday.

Following this, Lanka IOC increased fuel prices yesterday to match CPC rates, Lanka IOC General Manager Manoj Gupta confirmed.

Following the price hike, Lanka Private Bus Owners Association Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne urged that the minimum fare, which was previously Rs 27, should now be increased to at least Rs 35.

However, All Ceylon Private Bus Owners Association claimed that increasing the bus fare is not practical since it will only affect the public more. Therefore, Association’s Chairman Anjana Priyanjith urged the Government to provide diesel subsidies instead.

Nonetheless, taking the woes of the transport sector into consideration the National Transport Commission announced a bus fare hike of 19.5 per cent with effect from midnight yesterday, whereby the minimum fare has been increased to Rs 32.

Accordingly, the revision is made for 350 categories of bus fares and the fares of buses operating on expressways are also expected to shoot up.

Subsequently, three-wheeler owners have reached a decision to increase three-wheeler fares in line with the increase in fuel prices.

All-Island Three-Wheeler Drivers Union President Lalith Dharmasekara said that the fare for the first kilometre will increase to Rs 100 while each additional kilometre will cost Rs 80.

All Ceylon Container Owners’ Association noted that the import and export container transport charges was increased by 35 per cent yesterday midnight as a result of the price hike.

In the meantime, All Island Canteen Owners’ Association President Asela Sampath said that a decision has been reached to increase the prices of all food items by 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, Minister Wijesekara tweeted that the price increase includes all costs incurred in importing, unloading, and distributing fuel to filling stations, as well as taxes. Profits, however, were not calculated or included.

He also noted that the fuel pricing formula will be used to revise prices every two weeks or monthly.

He requested that the transportation sector discuss rate revisions and not disrupt transportation for candidates taking the G.C.E. Ordinary Level Examination, which commenced on 23 May.

Meanwhile, the public sector workforce will be called to work under the direction of the institute’s head beginning yesterday and working from home will be encouraged to reduce fuel consumption and manage the energy crisis, he added.

By Thameenah Razeek and Nabiya Vaffoor