Petroleum dealers lack finances –Naotunna

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Petroleum dealers’ lack of financial resources to pay for the fuel loads for their filling stations is the primary cause of the resurgence of fuel queues outside filling stations, Petroleum Dealers’ Association (PDA) Co-Secretary, Kapila Naotunna said.

He said on days when the fuel bowser arrives at the fuel station, they are required to deposit Rs 6 million before 9:30 a.m. with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). He claimed that due to the longstanding practice and the dire financial conditions, the dealers are having issues paying for the fuel stock with cash.

The CPC is now requesting cash in hand when ordering fuel stocks, he said, and even banks, both State-owned and others, have stopped issuing cheques. He said occasionally the CPC fails to send a bowser on the day when a dealer is able to secure funding and orders a fuel stock.

“This is annoying. After much difficulty, we make a deposit, but even after that, the CPC fails to provide us the stocks on that day. The dealers and owners of the fuel stations have given up on this process, and as a result, they have closed the fuel station and are now short on cash and fuel.

It all started when Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited’s distribution manager failed. He is the one handling our orders, and it appears that he has other affairs to look after,” Naotunna alleged.

Naotunna urged the Government to look into their problems, even though the QR code system is in operation, otherwise, fuel lines could be longer than they have ever been.

By Thameenah Razeek