Fuel prices hiked in Sri Lanka

Colombo, May 25:

With global oil prices soaring, Sri Lanka announced a dramatic hike in the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 30 a litre and of kerosene by Rs 10 a litre from midnight Saturday.

Auto diesel will now cost Rs 110 a litre and super diesel Rs 125. The price of 90 octane petrol has gone up from Rs 127 to Rs 157 a litre while the 95 octane petrol will now cost Rs 170.

“The decision to increase the fuel prices was taken after an urgent cabinet

meeting presided over by President Mahinda Rajapaksa Saturday night. The cabinet approved the fuel price hike as the government cannot incur the huge losses caused by fuel subsidy any more,” said a presidential spokesman.

Rajapaksa earlier met finance ministry officials, transport authorities and business entrepreneurs and discussed the “inevitable fuel price hike, its impacts and ways to cushion the impact on the consumers”.

He said the president instructed the ministers and MPs “to control the usage of fuel as it was found out that most of the ministries, government departments and institutions are consuming unlimited amount of petrol and diesel unnecessarily”. Prices are expected to go up in a number of areas, including transport fares, as a result of the price increases.

Gemunu Wijeratne, president of the Private Bus Association, said they were holding talks with the petroleum and transport ministers, demanding at least a 30 per cent increase in the public transport fares.

Many Sri Lankans, already struggling under the spiralling cost of living, expressed shock and

dismay over the massive fuel price hike.

This is the 9th time Sri Lanka increased the fuel prices since January 2007 and the second time since January 2008.