Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday that any price formula is irrelevant and in the presence of the current global oil crisis increase in fuel prices cannot be controlled, but the people should be given relief in the event of rising fuel prices.
He said the global oil crisis affects the countries more than the price formula and Sri Lanka needs to be prepared to face it since due to the tariff war between the United States and China and the demand for oil from India and China the future of world oil price is not clear.
“If the US imposes economic sanctions on Iran in November the global crisis will deepen. During the approaching winter season from November to April the world oil consumption usually increases. The price of a crude oil barrel which is at USD 80 now may rise to even USD 90. It cannot be predicted with certainty,” he explained.
The Prime Minister pointed out that strengthening US dollar is the other issue. As a result, the currencies of many developing countries including Sri Lanka have depreciated.
The Premier made these observations in response to a demand made by the JVP Leader and Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake to know the oil price formula.
The Premier responded that he does not have the price formula and that it must be requested from Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera.
The Prime Minister said that the price of fuel in the country would increase to a certain extent when the global price of fuel is increased according to the fuel price formula, but when the global price is reduced the government is ready to provide the concession to the public.
Explaining that every country in the world impose taxes on fuel, the Premier said the government has understood that relief should be provided to the people.
The Prime Minister also said that a price formula is implemented not only in Sri Lanka but also in neighboring India where the oil prices fluctuates daily based on the price formula.
“As a Government we are ready to deal with these crises while giving the necessary relief to the people,” the Prime Minister said.