Highlighting CPC’s deepening debt: AKD alleges Govt trying to break State’s petroleum monopoly
By Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake
Jathika Jana Balawegaya (JJB) Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayaka yesterday (29) claimedin Parliament that the monopoly on petroleum should be in the hands of the State for the sake of national security and alleged the Government is trying to break that monopoly.
“The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has debts of USD 3.4 billion to Bank of Ceylon (BoC) and People’s Bank at the moment. The CPC has been bankrupted. We accept that the petroleum monopoly should be in the hands of the State. It is important for our national security. But, what is this Government doing? Because of their conduct, the State’s monopoly on petroleum is in danger,” Dissanayaka stressed.
Dissanayaka pointed out that due to the debts of the CPC, stability of BoC and the People’s Bank is also in danger. “These are the burdens on the citizenry. When opening a Letters of Credit (LC) through BoC and the People’s Bank to import fuel, there should be a three per cent guarantee on the LC from a foreign bank. This is the situation. What are you going to do to solve this crisis? Do you have any plans?” he queried.
“A fuel ship arrived in Sri Lankan waters recently and it had to be anchored at sea for nearly a week because Sri Lanka did not have the dollars to pay for the oil. At last, the CBSL had to release dollars from foreign reserves. When petrol should be bought on an emergency basis, no one submitted bids. This is the situation. What are you going to do now? Not only that, a Cabinet Paper was submitted by Minister Udaya Gammanpila for a loan of USD 2.5 billion from an American company.
The interest rate for the loan is three per cent while the commission is seven per cent. What kind of rubbish is this? According to this, the commission would be USD 175 million. How can the commission be larger than the interest of a loan? What kind of loan is this? Why are you taking loans to pay commissions like this?” he further queried.