Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila today said the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery will begin operations in the near future.
Speaking in Parliament today, the Minister refuted reports of the sale of the refinery.
Meanwhile, Parliamentarian Hesha Vithanage said the fuel pricing formula that former Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera introduced was ridiculed in society and was criticised by the then opposition, adding that today the government has reversed its stance.
MP Vithanage said the Energy Minister today claims that the price formula is a good method of protecting consumers.
He said the tax on a litre of diesel imposed by the government is Rs.14, Super Diesel Rs.38, petrol Rs.42, and 95 Octane Rs.65 claiming that 30-40% of the fuel price per litre amounts to taxes.
He charged that the government has still to date failed to address the country’s financial stability despite obtaining public taxes and has even created a fuel crisis.
Minister Gammanpila meanwhile accepted that the tax figures were accurate and claimed that tobacco and alcohol are what are taxed the most in any country.
Minister Gammanpila said the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation during the past six months did not amend prices and during a 10-month period incurred a loss of Rs.70 billion.
He said the Ministry of Finance has been contacted to provide a tax reduction on fuel.
Minister Gammanpila also stated that during the past six months Sri Lanka is the only country that did not increase fuel prices in the world.