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Oil prices should be reduced by Rs. 20 per litre: Mangala

Former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that if the fuel price formula introduced by the Good Governance Government had been implemented thus far, it would have been possible to reduce the prices of all types of fuel by at least Rs. 20 per litre from March 10, 2020.

During the ‘Yahapalana’ Government, fuel prices were revised on the 10th of every month in accordance with the fuel price formula to give maximum benefit to the consumers of Sri Lanka, comparing prices in the world market.

The then Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, when he introduced the fuel price formula, had promised to 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.

Likewise, the 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 sold for more than Rs. 2,000 in 2015 has been reduced to Rs. 1,500.

Accordingly, when the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil in the Singapore market was US $ 65, the price of oil has been revised last in September 2019 and the new prices by March 10, 2020 should be as follows.

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," Samaraweera stated.

The former Finance Minister noted 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 this government is not doing anything to provide relief to the people.

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