Hot Potato

Sri Lanka is to ink a US$ 100 million fuel purchase deal with Malaysia next Monday, to ease the strain on the country’s balance of payments, a top official said Tuesday. Sri Lanka is to ink a US$ 100 million fuel purchase deal with Malaysia next Monday, to ease the strain on the country’s balance of payments, a top official said Tuesday. Signed between state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corp. (CPC) and Malaysia’s Petronas, the deal allows Sri Lanka to import 20 percent of its annual requirements.

“It’s a government-to-government agreement which is being signed on June 13 allowing us to defer payments up to six months,” CPC Chairman Jaliya Medagama said in an interview on Tuesday.

Ceypetco or CPC is still selling retail fuel at a loss, though Sunday’s price revision erased only Rs. 900 million off its Rs. 2.3 billion subsidy bill for May.

Petrol at the pump now costs Rs. 80.00 per litre, diesel Rs. 50.00, kerosene Rs. 30.50 and furnace oil Rs. 30.30.

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