Perfect Storm

Sri Lankan government upped prices for petrol and diesel on midnight Friday, as hundreds of motorist queued to top up following an islandwide strike by Ceypetco’s 5,000 strong workforce. Sri Lankan government upped prices for petrol and diesel on midnight Friday, as hundreds of motorist queued to top up following an islandwide strike by Ceypetco’s 5,000 strong workforce. For the second time in less than a month, petrol prices were raised by 3.00 to Rs. 68.00, while diesel will now cost Rs. 4.00 more – Rs. 36.00.

Ceylon Petroleum Corp. had also suggested that kerosene prices be raised by Rs. 2.00 to Rs. 27.50 per litre. Kerosene – widely consumed by the poorest of the poor – should actually go up by Rs. 10.00. But any moves to tinker with this were shot down by the government due to its political sensitivity.

Faced with surging world oil prices, Sri Lanka placed ceilings on fuel prices since February to keep inflation in check.

The government has spent over Rs. 6 bn so far, to keep domestic oil from rising too much.

Even the Central Bank came out strongly against fuel subsidies on Friday saying: “It would be difficult for the current monetary policy stance and the fis