Passing Bucks

July 04, 2007 (LBO) — Sri Lanka’s state-run oil firm Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has asked the treasury to pick up a six billion rupee subsidy tab for selling fuel to the Ceylon Electricity Board at a steep discount, officials said Wednesday. The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), currently buys fuel at 55 rupees a litre from Ceypetco, when the actual selling price should be around 70 rupees, Petroleum Minister A H M Fowzie said.

“We are short of about six billion rupees since last December because we can’t revise our selling prices to CEB,” he said adding that the issue was taken up with the cabinet of ministers this week.

“I am fairly certain we will get the approval because by not increasing our selling price of fuel to CEB, we are able to help the government keep the electricity tariffs at a stable level,” the minister said.

Sri Lanka Friday revised fuel prices, with diesel going up by six rupees to 71.00 rupees.

To maintain electricity tariffs, Petroleum Chairman Asantha de Mel said they plan to spread the price difference by adding a rupee or more onto future sales of gasoline and diesel.

“We can gradually cover our costs, and catch up on the price difference to CEB by adding an extra rupee or so on to other