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Minister Ranatunga promises action against filling stations

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Tuesday, 14 November 2017 00:00

Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Arjuna Ranatunga promised action against filling stations that showed an artificial shortage of diesel and stopped issuing petrol during the country’s recent fuel crisis.

Responding to a supplementary question, Minister Ranatunga told Parliament yesterday that investigations were proceeding regarding complaints received and action would soon be taken against the filling stations, which were trying hard to defame the Government.

“We have called for reports on instances where an artificial shortage of diesel was showcased. None of the filling stations in the country ran out of diesel. On the other hand, certain filling stations, which had ample stocks of petrol, stopped sales, putting consumers in difficulty,” he said.

According to the Minister, the possibilities are now being explored of increasing the stock, maintaining the capacity of certain filling stations located in areas with the highest number of motor vehicles. “We understand that there is congestion still in certain areas. But we have looked into the aspect of increasing stocks at filling stations,” he added.

On 15 October a ship containing petrol brought down by Lanka IOC failed two tests and was rejected due to quality issues. Worsening the matter, a regular supply vessel transporting petrol to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) reached Sri Lankan waters on 9 November even though the particular tanker was supposed to call over on 2 November. 

The situation was worsened with the Sapugaskanda oil refinery unable to operate further, with it being shut down for urgent repairs. Addressing Parliament recently, the Minister stated that rumours had created panic among consumers where everybody was looking at stocking up on petrol and the increased demand from 2,500 MT per day to 3,700 MT had led people to line up in front of filling stations even though the CPC had enough stocks for several days. (AH)

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