Sri Lanka petroleum trade union says strike will boost economy

ECONOMYNEXT – A trade union at Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation on Sunday announced a strike and declared that their action will actually boost Sri Lanka’s economy through the saving of money spent to import fuel.

The convenor of the previously unknown Coalition of Petroleum Trade Unions, D. J. Rajakaruna said their work stoppage on Monday will be a blessing for the country’s economy. "Each day, people in Sri Lanka burn about 1,400 million rupees of fuel. By not sending a single bowser (oil tanker) out of Kolonnawa (distribution point), we will save all that money for the country," Rajakaruna told reporters.

That imports are ‘bad’ along with trade deficits is a false Mercantilist doctrine that is widely believed in Sri Lanka and is spread by some ‘economists’.

Nationalists and import substituting rent-seeking businesses have amplified the idea to sell overpriced goods to the poor and exploit all consumers from behind large protectionist import duties and oppose free trade.

Official sources maintained that there would be no disruption as only a few extremists had threatened to disrupt fuel distribution, and there was no need to panic and top up fuel tanks.

The union wants the government to stop what it sees as entering into a partnership with the Indian Oil Company to develop disused World War II era storage tanks in Trincomalee. (COLOMBO, April 23, 2017)

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