Re-Shuffle

Mar. 22 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has changed the license fee structure for lubricant operators giving players an option of paying a flat fee or a percentage on turnover, Petroleum Minister M H M Fowzie said.

-Mel Gunasekera: mel@vanguardlk.com

Sri Lanka doubled license fees for lubricant operators in January, fixing it at Rs10 million (US$100,000) for five-years or an annual fee of Rs2 million (US$20,000).

However, smaller lubricant players opposed the stiff license fee and instead suggested an alternative of 0.5 percent tax on each firm’s turnover.

“We have amended the fee structure giving lubricant operators a choice of paying a flat fee or a percentage on sales, whichever is higher,” Fowzie told LBO.

“Sri Lankan lubricant market is now open to anybody willing to pay the license fee. The government is keen to have companies investing in lubricant blending plants here,” he said.

Currently, six operators share Sri Lanka’s lubricant market, which is valued at around Rs6 billion (US$60 million).

Caltex Lanka Lubricants, a unit of ChevronTexaco, dominates the market, with a massive 70 percent, while Lanka Indian Oil Corpor