Bigger Bills

Chandi Dharmaratne

Sept 04 (LBO) – Ceylon Petroleum Corporation said Monday that it would jack up fuel prices with effect from midnight Monday, to offset losses made by the state utility.

Petrol will go up by Rs. 5.00 a litre to 101 rupees, diesel by Rs. 3.00 to Rs. 67.00 a litre and kerosene, largely used by rural Sri Lankans, by Rs. 2.50 to Rs. 48.00 a litre.

The state oil giant is still losing on each litre of fuel despite the hike, petroleum minister A H M Fowzie told journalists, with losses totalling 1.6 billion rupees each month.

Petrol should sell at 104 rupees a litre, diesel and kerosene at 70 rupees a litre to cover costs, calculated on a formula pegged to high world crude prices.

Without a price hike, monthly losses could soar to as much a three billion rupees, Fowzie said, though Ceypetco is still selling below Lanka Indian Oil Corporation.

Lanka Indian Oil Corporation (LIOC) raised prices of petrol and diesel by seven rupees a litre last week, with petrol selling at 105 rupees and diesel at 73 rupees a litre.

The Indian fuel retailer said the increase covered its costs, but says it is suffering up to 50 percent in volume losses due to the price d