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JVP to protest fuel price hike

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 16 May 2018 00:10


  • Says Government claims of economic growth a farce
  • Calls on civil societies, unions and general public to join demonstration

By Hasmath Hairudeen

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday said it had planned a protest march next week against the Government’s recent fuel hike and blamed government mismanagement for the increase.  

JVP politburo member K.D. Lalkantha said they would conduct the demonstration on 22 May, calling on the Government to reduce the fuel prices. 

“Along with the fuel hikes, the tax rates on essential household products are to be increased as well. This indicates the failure of proper financial management by the Government. Ultimately there is almost a Rs. 1,000 increment in the standard essential household goods compared to last year,” Lalkantha said.

Furthermore, he said that the Government was trying to cover up their losses which had arisen due to unnecessary expenses and poor planning, noting that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) had lost Rs. 14 billion as a result of purchasing spot tenders.

Moreover, he said that the bond scam and depreciation of the rupee, in comparison to the US dollar, had indirectly caused these tax increments.

In addition, Lalkantha said that the Government was faking economic growth. 

“If there is an economical growth the benefits should flow to the citizens, but instead of relief the Government is imposing more taxes. So clearly there is no growth or improvements in our economy.” 

Joining the news conference, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that the increase in fuel rates had indirectly increased the daily expenses of citizens, pointing out that already three wheeler associations had increased their fares by Rs. 10 in addition to the Government deciding to increase bus fares by 6.5%.

In addition, Herath said the increase in kerosene prices had a severe impact on the low-income population. 

“As a result, 10,000 fishermen hauled their boats ashore on 11 May to demand that the Government reduce the price of kerosene which they use to power their boats.” Responding to the Government’s claim that kerosene prices were increased to stop the illegal mixing of kerosene with diesel by public transport services, Herath opined that the administration should take more sensible measures in order to prevent this rather than increasing the price of kerosene which would have an effect on the entire nation. 

Herath, acknowledging that there was a gradual increase in oil prices in the global market, alleged that the Government was charging a tax of Rs. 31.60 and Rs. 60.90 per diesel and petrol litre respectively - an indication that it was a hidden taxing strategy of the Government.

The JVP invited civil society, trade unions and citizens to join in the protest on 22 May.

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