Customs surcharge: No change in fuel prices

Minister of Petroleum Mahinda Amaraweera assured that the imposition of a customs surcharge on fuel prices would not have any effect on local fuel prices.

He told The Sunday Morning that the fuel prices would not be changed under any circumstance, as the Government did not reduce the prices during the last two months when the global fuel prices had come down.

As explained by the Minister, the price fluctuation would be controlled by the Petroleum Stabilisation Fund.

At the recent cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance approved two Gazette notifications on the subject of imposing the customs surcharge on fuel prices.

The Government has established a Petroleum Stabilisation Fund and it is being maintained under the supervision of a committee comprising Treasury officials.

It expects to implement a programme to provide long-term relief to the public through the repayment of loans obtained by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).

Meanwhile, the Petroleum Branch of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) alleged that the customs surcharge imposed by the Government was similar to the CESS tax imposed by the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government before 2015.

Speaking to The Sunday Morning, JSS General Secretary Ananda Palitha said the Government did not have any reason to increase fuel prices.

“The global fuel prices are still at a low rate,” he said.

– Maheesha Mudugamuwa