Sri Lanka state retailer delays formula price hike; LIOC allowed to go ahead

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s finance ministry said the state fuel distributor is delaying a price hike under a formula until next week, amid queries in parlaiment whether President Maithripala Sirisena had thrown a money wrench into the reform.

In Sri Lanka, state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Lanka IOC, a publicly traded company distributes fuel.

The finance minsitry said a committee which is empowered to decide the price under the formula had sat on July 05, and decided on the hikes.

"Therefore petroleum distributors can change their retail prices based on these tariffs," the Finance Ministry statement said.

"The decision on changing the prices of CPC (retailers) will be decided at the cabinet meeting."

Opposition legislators raised questions in parliament Friday whether President Maithripala Sirisena had arbitrarily obstructed the move and whether the cabinet approval had been gained to reverse it.

The cabinet already formally decided to allow a committee to price fuel by formula after long deliberations. Automatic fuel pricing is a key reform long called for by economists to bring economic stability back.

The finance ministry did not say whether the President or Petroleum Minister had opposed the reform. (Colombo/July06/2018)

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