President Director General (Community Affairs) Keerthi Thennakoon has directed a letter dated 22 November 2022 to District Secretaries, Provincial Fisheries Ministry Secretaries and Provincial Cooperative Ministry Secretaries pertaining to steps taken by the government to ensure the regular and continuous distribution of kerosene oil for the fishing community.
Accordingly, the government has decided to release 50 fuel bowsers daily to meet the kerosene needs of the fishing community.
As of last week, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation had approved the release of 357 kerosene oil bowsers to meet the needs of the fishing community.
However, fuel stations had only obtained 206 bowsers (58%).
The government has borne an additional cost of USD 3.3 million for this purpose.
However, Tennakoon said despite the additional expense, the supply of kerosene oil to the fishing community has not been done stringently and the fishing community has not been able to carry out fishing activities.
Ensuring food security is considered a prime responsibility of the government and is expected to meet nutritional needs of the people through the current bountiful fish harvest.
Therefore, it has been informed that the Ministry of Fisheries has delegated the responsibility to the CPC to determine the amount of fuel required by fishermen and areas that should receive it.
It was also informed that the Secretaries of the Provincial Fisheries Ministries and Provincial Cooperative Ministries, Department of Fisheries, together with the Petroleum Corporation, have handed over the responsibility to the Navy to supply the required kerosene to the fishermen within the approved limits, through private, cooperative or other authorised fuel stations or with the assistance of the Navy.