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Kerosene down to Rs. 70 starting Wednesday

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By Rahel Kirinde

Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Vijith Vijithamuni yesterday reaffirmed that kerosene prices would be dropped down to Rs. 70 per litre starting midnight.

“I discussed this issue with the President and the Finance Minister, and the Government decided to introduce a new subsidised price of Rs. 70 per litre for kerosene,” said Vijithamuni. He revealed that he would be presenting a Cabinet paper at today’s Cabinet meeting, finalising the new price. 

Vijithamuni, speaking at a press conference, said that he was compelled to intervene in the matter after several fishermen’s unions claimed that the price hike has caused a profound negative impact on their livelihood. 

“As the Minister of Fisheries, it is my duty to ensure that the lives of fishermen are not harmed, I have had 5 meetings with representatives of many fishermen’s unions, and finally decided to intervene in the matter due to their requests,” Vijithamuni told reporters.

He further mentioned that he would be looking to present another Cabinet paper next week, to bring down the price of outboard oil, which is used by the majority of fishermen.

“Outboard oil is currently priced at Rs. 707 per litre, and since it is used mainly by fishermen, it too needs to available at an affordable price. I will resolve this matter by next week,” said the Minister. He added that he would also be discussing the issue at today’s Cabinet meeting, since several fishermen’s unions have lamented that the price of outboard oil is on an incessant rise, due to the high tax imposed on it, and that it is extremely difficult for them to cope with the increase.

On a different note, the Minister stated that he would also be taking measures to deal with the sale of fish supposedly brought into the country for re-export in the local market, which ultimately causes local fishermen a loss of income. “Fish that is brought into the country for re-export is ultimately sold in the local market for low prices, and this has destroyed the demand for fish sold by local fishermen,” said Vijithamuni. He added that he has included this on the next Cabinet paper as well.

With the recent fuel price hike during early May, due to the escalation of global market prices, the price of kerosene oil was increased by Rs. 57 to Rs. 101 per litre, and it had allegedly led to a 400% decrease in total sales. 

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