Buck Stops

Sri Lankan Police forming a human chain in parliament to protect the Speaker and enable a vote.

Mar 10, 2011 (LBO) – Most of the loss of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, Sri Lanka’s state-run petroleum retailer is due to subsidized sale of furnace oil to a state power utility, the island’s oil minister has said. Furnace oil which cost the CPC 81 rupees a liter is sold to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) for 40 rupees, a petroleum industry ministry statement quoted minister Susil Premajayantha as saying.

It was not clear whether the furnace oil price quoted included government taxes.

The refined petrol price in Singapore was only 82 rupees (119 US dollars a barrel) and diesel about 89.70 rupees (129 US dollars a barrel) on Tuesday.

Minister Premajayantha said 80 percent of CPC’s loss came from cut price sales of furnace oil to the power utility.

He said fixed prices of petrol and diesel also caused losses to the utility. Sri Lanka’s rulers have traditionally played politics with energy prices, printed money to keep prices down and in the process pushed inflation to high levels, depreciated the currency or built up debt to banks or within each other.

Sri Lankan citizens who do not clearly understand that a government runs only with the money taxed from the people, printed money which ca