Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila says he made a written request from Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa to remove the taxes imposed on imported fuel.
Speaking during a media briefing regarding the current situation pertaining to fuel, the Energy Minister said the request was made due to the difficulties faced in carrying out operations at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation as a result of continuous losses.
He noted the CPC incurs a loss of Rs.551 million monthly adding it incurred a loss of Rs.83 billion last year.
Minister Gammanpila claimed if the CPC is incurring losses the government will have to provide concessions or the CPC will have to increase fuel prices.
He added failure to do either will lead to a fuel shortage in the near future.
Minister Gammanpila said the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka informed him in writing in January that he is unable to release funds to import fuel, owing to the dollar crisis.
He noted based on CPC assessments a tax of Rs.42 is imposed on a litre of 92 Octane Petrol, Rs.64 on 95 Octane Petrol, Rs.17 on diesel and Rs.39 on Super Diesel.
The Energy Minister added the Ministry of Finance generates an income of Rs.367 million daily from the taxes.
He said if taxes were lifted the CPC will be able to cover a portion of the daily loss, and therefore the government is attempting to cover the loss in this manner instead of burdening the public.
Meanwhile Minister Gammanpila claimed the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has requested an increase in fuel prices, adding he directed the requests to the Finance Ministry.