SJB TU accuses CPC, LIOC and Sinopec of making unconscionable profits



slams Opposition for not taking up issue

by Shamindra Ferdinando

Convenor of the Samagi Joint Trade Union Alliance, Ananda Palitha, yesterday (03), said that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) had increased prices of all products in spite of earning a monthly profit of Rs. 12 bn at present.

Palitha, a former CPC employee, said that from September to December 2022, the CPC had earned a monthly profit of Rs 10 bn. Therefore, there couldn’t have been any justifiable reason for the upward revision of fuel prices. Responding to The Island queries, Palitha pointed out that parliamentary watchdog committees and the ministerial consultative committee should look into the matter without delay. He said the Opposition had not taken up the issue, adding that, the CPC had fuel stocks sufficient for three months.

“The CPC’s September profits will soar sharply at the expense of the public,” Palitha said, adding that the abolition of the QR-based quota system was intended to boost retail sales. Palitha pointed out that Lanka IOC and Chinese enterprise Sinopec, too, had substantial fuel stocks at the time of the latest increase. The CPC had announced the revision within 24 hours after Sinopec opened its first outlet at Mattegoda, Palitha said, claiming that their profits would be massive.

The CPC set the price of petrol (92) at Rs 361 (Rs 13 increase), petrol (95) at Rs 417 (Rs 42 increase), auto diesel Rs 341 (Rs 35 increase), Super diesel Rs 359 (Rs 1 increase), kerosene Rs 231 (Rs 5 increase) at midnight Aug. 31.

 “Last month, the CPC earned Rs 12 bn profit. It’ll go up by several billions, definitely passing Rs 15 bn mark,” Palitha said, urging President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is also the Finance Minister, to inquire into the CPC’s unfair practices which adversely affected all sectors.

Close on the heels of the CPC announcement, the government allowed a four-percent increase in bus fares. Transport costs, too, went up overnight resulting in an increase in the prices of vegetables and all other commodities.

Minister Wijesekera is on record as having said that the entry of a third player (Sinopec) will help stabilise the petroleum market, guarantee an uninterrupted supply of quality product and bring about competitive prices. Instead, the CPC had increased the petroleum, Palitha said.


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