Closing Sri Lanka’s Oil Refinery which can be adapted into a profit making body from 16 per cent to 24 per cent and selling the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CEYPETCO) have become a government policy and such a move can be defined as an act of treason, said Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa, speaking to members of the trade unions responding to the state-run fuel regulator two days ago (23).
The Oil Refinery and the CEYPETCO are national resources of the country and therefore, should be protected, the Opposition Leader emphasised, reminding that Rs. 90 billion due to be paid to the CEYPETCO has not been paid and the state-run fuel regulator’s revenue has been taken by the Treasury whilst a loss of Rs. 600 billion has incurred due to the non-payment of subsidies given under various regimes. In the backdrop, it would be wrong to say that the CEYPETCO is incurring losses, he added.
The government has lost millions of rupees due to the importation of fuel without procurement and the national resources are being sold for loot whilst those collecting commissions and stealing dollars and powerful families have become agents of the fuel mafia, Premadasa alleged. The Opposition Leader promised that the fuel mafia will be eliminated under a Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) government.
He urged the public not to be deceived by statements made on the basis of false information that the CEYPETCO should be closed, adding that had the state-run fuel regulator been a loss-incurring body, it should be profited through a joint venture that would generate profit without closing it. Accordingly, national resources must not be sold, Premadasa added.