By Ashwin Hemmathagama
Our Lobby Correspondent
Tests conducted on the controversial stock of diesel purchased from Vito have turned out “good and above the required CPC standard although a considerable number of private buses, State transport services including CTB and Railway, and some machinery came to a halt” by using it, said Minister of Petroleum Industries A.D. Susil Premajayantha, who is still awaiting the test results from the samples sent to the Industrial Technology Institute to take some final action.
“We have purchased diesel from Vitol. Up to now our lab tests confirmed particular purchases were not below the standard but some vehicles and machines had faced some issues using it. We are yet to receive results from samples sent to ITI. We haven’t received details of the losses incurred by CTB using this diesel. The number of private buses affected using this stock is less than 1,000,” Minister Premajayantha said in response to question raised by Opposition legislator UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam.
However, MP Kariyawasam, who was not happy with the Minister’s response, said: “You have stated that 20,000 MT was stored at Muthurajawela and was given to the power stations. You are giving the power stations at a subsidised price of Rs. 75 per litre regardless of selling the same for Rs. 115 in the market. So the loss per litre amounts to Rs. 40. Why don’t you recover the loss from Vitol?”
Referring to 20,000 MT of low quality petrol imported from Inox Singapore in June 2011, the Minister said: “We were left with 2,053 MT of this low quality petrol, which was re-exported to minimise our losses. We have received US$ 145,000 in return. However, to compensate 1,880 motor vehicles, we have paid a total of Rs. 29 million, borne expenses of Rs. 26 million to repair the fuel pumps, and an additional loss of Rs. 50 million due to the entire issue. Having communicated with Inox, they have agreed to deduct US$ 425,000 from the next stock we order from them.”