Sinopec’s inaugural fuel shipment to arrive next month: State Minister

Monday, 24 July 2023 03:14 –      – 89

Power and Energy State Minister D.V. Chanaka 

  • States Govt. focus on fuel competitiveness 
  • Asserts MRP likely from August for firms under pricing formula 
  • Says decision on QR code pending

Power and Energy State Minister D.V. Chanaka yesterday said Sri Lanka is gearing up for the arrival of the first fuel shipment from China’s Sinopec early next month, as it continues to make strides in enhancing fuel competitiveness.

He revealed plans to replace the fuel price formula with a maximum retail price (MRP) system. Under this new approach, the Government will set a maximum retail price, allowing fuel companies to compete by offering prices of their choice within the set limit.

“This move is expected to foster competition and result in reduced fuel prices. The MRP will be stipulated by the Government to all fuel companies under the price formula from August,” he said.

In addition, he said that plans are underway to decide on the QR code after discussing it with all the stakeholders in the future.

He emphasised on Government’s dedication to ensuring a steady supply of fuel in the face of economic challenges. He recounted how Sri Lanka overcame oil queues and fuel shortages, crediting President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s prudent economic policies and Minister Kanchana Wijesekera’s strategic fuel management.

“To improve fuel procurement and maintain steady reserves, the Government introduced the innovative QR code system, which has significantly reduced fuel queues and increased efficiency. Under this system, fuel tankers must be fully stocked in local warehouses, and necessary weekly purchases are made using available dollars at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), eliminating the need for advance payments and saving up to $ 300 million annually,” he explained at a media briefing held at the Presidential Media Centre yesterday.

He also explained the country’s progress in tackling the economic crisis that severely impacted the Power and Energy Ministry.

“Previously, while soliciting bids for fuel, the fuel was purchased based on the amount of room that was available in our warehouses. An effort was made to research the Singaporean system instead. Later, tenders were called instead of the conventional procedure on days when the price was the lowest in the world. There were no arrangements to maintain buffer reserves. So far, steps have been taken to maintain a reserve of 30,000 litres of fuel including petrol and diesel. We are in charge of an additional $ 60 million in addition to the money needed for daily expenses,” he said.

The State Minister emphasised the country’s success in recovering late fees from fuel companies, a positive step towards boosting revenue and financial stability.

He also said agreements were reached with three major internationally registered companies to enhance fuel competitiveness, offering a solution to the ongoing foreign exchange crisis.


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