The final decision whether or not to increase the fuel prices will be taken by the President and the Prime Ministers together, says Minister of Petroleum Resources Development, Arjuna Ranatunga.
He said the government had to decide whether the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CEYPETCO) needed to be operated as a public service utility because it had incurred heavy losses over the years.
The minister told CEYPETCO and Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal Ltd. (CPSTL) employees when he met them on the first day after the New Year, that the losses incurred by CEYPETCO was an unbearable burden on the Treasury, but none of the successive governments had hitherto decided on operating it as a State welfare service or turning it into a profit-making commercial venture by the government.
“It is time to take a strategic decision on CEYPETCO because this extremely vital State venture cannot be operated on losses. CEYPETCO’s losses became greater as global oil prices increased steeply in the past few months. However, if fuel prices were to increase in the domestic market, the ultimate decision is in the hands of the President and the Prime Minister,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, CEYPETCO Chairman Dhammika Ranatunga said in the past ten months since the new administration took office, many development projects were launched including the construction of a new storage facility for aviation fuel at the BIA and a new tank complex being constructed at the Kolonnawa Fuel Terminal.