Could have reduced fuel prices if pricing formula was continued – Mangala

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If the fuel price formula was continued to be implemented, the prices of all types of fuel could have been reduced by at least Rs. 20 per litre, says former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

Issuing a media release today (10), the former minister stated that under the administration of the former government, the fuel pricing formula was implemented to revise the fuel prices on the 10th of every month in order to give maximum benefit to the general public, in line with prices in the world market.

Samaraweera says, when he introduced the fuel pricing formula, he had “promised to pass the pass the benefit of world oil price fluctuations to the consumers by reducing the oil prices in the local market.

“Now the international oil price has come down to USD 45 per barrel from USD 65 when the fuel price was last revised in September 2019,” Samaraweera has said further.

He added that the ‘Yahapalana’ government had also introduced a price formula for another essential commodity, domestic gas. As a result, the price of a 12.5 kg gas cylinder, which was sold for more than Rs. 2,000 in 2015, was reduced to Rs. 1,500, the former minister said further.

Samaraweera points out that, when the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil in the Singapore market was USD 65 the price of oil has been revised last in September 2019 and the new prices by March 10, 2020 should be as follows:

The former finance minister went on to say: “This will also pave the way to reduce the bus fares and three wheeler fares thereby reducing the cost of living of the people who have already been severely affected under this government due to exorbitant price increase of rice, vegetables and other essential goods.The poor people were also taken for a ride by promising a parcel of essential goods free of charge by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.”

He further stated that when the government does not pass the benefit of fuel price reduction in the world market to the people in the country, it could be observed that the current government “is not doing anything to provide relief to the people.”