Hiking prices of premium fuel can worsen crisis – Kanchana

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Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekara said yesterday (25), raising the prices of premium fuel products such as 95 Octane and Super Diesel will aggravate the fuel shortage and create an artificial demand for lesser priced products.

In a tweet, the Minister said the authorities have explored the idea of increasing prices of premium products.

He said, the daily requirement accounts for less than 10 per cent of the market share. If the prices of premium products are raised significantly, consumers would switch to regular products such as 92 Octane and regular diesel.

“We have explored the idea to increase prices of premium products. Driving up prices significantly on both will not be a solution. It will create an artificial demand for lesser priced products. The demand for regular diesel and 92 Octane will rise, as no one will buy premium products,” he said.

Meanwhile, he tweeted that Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has advertised three weeks ago seeking proposals from those who could supply petroleum products. “In response, 67 such proposals were received, all were evaluated by the technical committee, and 39 were shortlisted. All parties were spoken to last Tuesday.”

“We communicated to them our possible payment plans, our requirements and responded to all questions they raised. Further, the President, Prime Minister and Ministry of Energy have made requests from oil producing countries for their support and credit lines. I kindly request anyone who can supply products in line with our requirements and quote reasonable pricing possible, to submit proposals to the Ministry of Energy or CPC, to enable us to evaluate them, which we will do in 48 hours,” the tweet said.

He also noted that after receiving a complaint that the Ambatale fuel station had closed before the stipulated time and were holding stocks in anticipation of a price revision, the said fuel station was taken over by CPC officers. He said CPC officers had later sold the stocks at old prices to consumers yesterday and further investigations in this connection was underway. (TR)