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July 16, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has announced fuel subsidies to the poor on state welfare and warned of more price hikes with the onset of a hurricane season that disrupts international offshore petroleum production. The government says they are willing to pay a fuel subsidy to three-wheeler tax owners if they install metres.

Petroleum Resources Development Minister A.H.M. Fowzie said the move was meant to cushion the impact of recent domestic fuel price hikes in response to increases in international petroleum prices.

“The subsidies would be increased if fuel prices were to rise further,” Fowzie told a new conference.

Poor families who are members of the Samurdhi state welfare programme and fishermen who owned small boats powered by small outboard motors would get a cash grant.

Ceylon Petroleum Corporation chairman Ashantha de Mel said the 100-rupee subsidy to the poor was meant to make up for the extra cost they had to bear after recent price hikes.

The kerosene price was raised by 16 rupees a litre recently. With poor families estimated to use six litres of kerosene a month, their monthly expenditure on fuel would have gone up by 96 rupees, he said.

From July, the government will g