Trade unions have questioned the government as to why no action has been taken thus far against Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila who has been misleading the public by making various false statements.
Speaking to NewsRadio, trade unionist Ananda Palitha said Minister Gammanpila’s claim that the country possessed adequate stocks of fuel was incorrect.
Palitha said the Minister claimed increasing fuel prices was aimed at saving dollars as fuel consumption will reduce if prices are increased adding however fuel prices in the world market have reduce by USD 16.
He said trade unionists would have been arrested if they made such contradicting statements.
Ananda Palitha said the public has been severely burdened by the present situation claiming students sitting the GCE Advanced Level Examination are also facing difficulties due to scheduled power cuts.
Palitha said the Minister along with the Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and other officials must be arrested under provisions of the Essential Public Services Act as concealing essential items is an offense.
He said the government has no right to increase fuel prices since the government has been benefiting from fuel price drops in the world market for over 20 consecutive months.
He said world market prices initially dropped in January 2020 and further reduced in December 2021 after which the government increased fuel prices.
Furthermore, Ananda Palitha said thermal power plants not receiving stocks of fuel was the reason behind scheduled power cuts.
He said there was no energy crisis but a shortage of fuel for power plants.
The trade unionist said Minister Gammanpila claimed there were over 90,000MT of naphtha and furnace oil with the CPC on the 15th of November 2021 adding however the stocks depleted by the 23rd of January when the Ceylon Electricity Board requested new stocks.
Palitha said this was due to the Minister selling naphtha and furnace oil to a foreign country at less than 50% of the actual value.
He said the public is facing an energy crisis due to the CPC failing to manage stocks adding it was the responsibility of the CPC to supply fuel to the CEB.
Palitha said the subject Minister and the government are responsible for the present situation.