State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna warns that the price of domestic gas cylinders could increase once again in future.
Speaking in Parliament during a special debate on the present fuel and power crisis, the State Minister said the gas shortage was not only the result of a management issue in the country but is also stemming from the Ukraine and Russia conflict.
State Minister Alagiyawanna said a metric tonne of gas that was Rs.300 has exceeded Rs.900, adding that this is highest gas prices that have been reported to date.
Therefore, the State Minister said Sri Lanka doesn’t manufacture gas and has resorted to importing.
While claiming that an increase in gas prices is inevitable, the State Minister noted that all other essential goods including cement, steel, power, and energy resources will also increase in price of between Rs.300-Rs.400.
Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena joining the debate said Sri Lanka is one of the countries with the lowest fuel charges.
The Minister said a litre of diesel in Italy is €2.20 while a litre of petrol is €2.22.
Minister Abeygunawardena said a litre of fuel in Italy is sold at Rs.552 in comparison to Sri Lanka where a litre of petrol is Rs.207.
The Minister added Sri Lanka along with all other countries are severely affected by the increase in essential commodities such as fuel and gas.
He claimed that within a month fuel prices in Europe have increased by Rs.150 in comparison to Sri Lankan rates.
Joining the debate, Samagi Jana Balawegaya Parliamentarian Gayantha Karunatilleka said the entire country has suffered due to the shortcomings of the government.
MP Karunatilleka said no one is safe from the present economic crisis.
The Parliamentarian said when vehicle imports were banned, some individuals were content due to financial constraints.
He said when the import of mobile phones was banned, the public adjusted accordingly.
The MP said similar situations arose when import bans were imposed on tiles, cement, milk powder, and flour.
He said a majority disregarded the ban on chemical fertilisers due to it only affecting a certain sector.
MP Karunatilleka however said the entire public felt the burden of fuel shortages and daily seven-hour power cuts.
He said a public opinion was formed that only government politicians are not affected due to these issues.
Minister of Power Pavithra Wanniarachchi says the President has assured to make the country self-sufficient in renewable energy.
Speaking Parliament today, Minister Wanniarachchi claimed initial steps will be taken within the year to add at least 1,000MW to the National Power Grid using renewable energy including solar power and wind power.
The Minister said the present administration acts responsibly and strives to fulfil its duties to the utmost.