July 14, Colombo: Former president and finance minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is making false allegations and spreading lies about fuel price hike to mislead the people, said Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera at a media briefing held in Colombo Friday (13).
The Finance Minister today challenged the former president again to come to an open debate with him if possible without making false comments on the prices of fuel and the economy of the country.
"Mr. Rajapaksa, as usual, is hiding in the bushes and throwing stones at the government," Minister Samaraweera said.
Minister Samaraweera said the Kurunegala district parliamentarian is presenting various distorted views about the fuel pricing formula.
"Mr. Rajapaksa says that the price of one liter of petrol was Rs 120 during his regime. It's a lie. By the end of Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, by January 2015, the petrol price was Rs. 150 a liter. Compare to that the price is lower now," the Minister pointed out.
He said the fuel pricing formula was something the country needed for the growth. When the price of crude changes in world market and the dollar changes, the gain or loss will be transferred to people.
The Minister recalled that when the fuel prices were dropped in world market in 2014 to $55 a barrel the previous government did not lower the price of fuel in domestic market even after the Supreme Court ordered and did not pass that benefit to the people.
The Finance Minister assured that the benefits of the fuel pricing formula will be passed on to the people.