In a move that will further deepen the prevailing fuel crisis, the Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) is reported to be planning to increase fuel prices within the next few weeks if the government fails to remove the special taxes imposed over the years on fuel.
Reliable petroleum sources told Daily Mirror that the LIOC was selling petrol at a loss of Rs.22 on a litre while it was losing Rs.16 on a litre of diesel. “The reason for these losses was because of the special tax of 13% imposed earlier on a litre of fuel. Even the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has to pay these taxes but that money goes back to the government coffers. So it is not a loss for either the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) or the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal Limited (CPSTL) but only to the LIOC,” sources said.
They said LIOC officials recently met Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and other top-level government officials and an assurance given when they requested that this tax be removed. “In the event the taxes are not removed as promised, the LIOC Board of Directors will take decision to go ahead with the planned increase. The LIOC cannot sustain itself any longer with the staggering losses it is incurring. Either the government should remove the taxes or increase fuel prices to avert further losses,” a source said.
When asked as to what the increase would be a sources said that he was unable to make any comment because it was the responsibility of the management to decide on any change to the current prices.(Daily Mirror)