July 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka's state fuel supplier Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has instructed all fuel stations to issue fuel at the previous prices and not at the revised prices that were to take effect from midnight Thursday (05).
The Government Information Department said that the CPC has issued a circular to all CEYPETCO fuel stations in the country to issue fuel at the previous prices.
The CPC also assures that there are sufficient fuel stocks in all petrol stations in the country and requests the public to report any filling stations refusing to fuel.
The Finance Ministry said the fuel prices have been revised according to the fuel price formula introduced recently. Accordingly the private supplier of fuel Lanka IOC has raised the prices effective today. However, the state supplier CPC has decided to take a decision on the price revision after the cabinet meeting next week.
The government introduced a price formula to determine the price of fuel, and the committee, which is empowered to decide the price under the formula, met on July 05th and amended the fuel prices, the Ministry said.
The cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the Finance Ministry to introduce the cost based price formula for fuel, to execute this formula from 11th May 2018 and to update the fuel price before 5th day of third month based on the international prices of previous two months.
Under this method, fuel prices can go higher or lower according to the market price. When fuel prices go down in world market that benefit will be passed on to the public, the Ministry said.
The Ministry pointed out that the non-oil producing countries use a price formula for fuel based on the world prices and in neighboring India the fuel prices change daily.
Global lenders such as World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) commended the government when the fuel price formula was introduced since Automatic fuel pricing is a key reform needed for economic stability and growth.
However, today's decision not to change fuel prices approved by a committee formed to implement the key reform is seen as a backward move.
The Opposition legislators have reportedly raised questions in parliament Friday whether President Maithripala Sirisena had arbitrarily opposed the fuel price hike and whether the cabinet approval had been gained to reverse it.