Despite the rising cost of living and government claims that the cost of fuel cannot be reduced the reality is that the price of Saudi West Texas Intermediary Crude on Monday had dropped to US$ 93 a barrel.
In our Editorial recently we alerted readers to the subterfuge that our government had perpetrated in deceiving the people into believing that they had no alternative but to increase the cost of fuel by around 15% as, according to it, the cost of crude oil had risen in the world markets during the past few weeks. This is flagrant untruth.
The paradox of the situation is that the Government continues to fool the people about the need of increasing the cost of fuel even though the Petroleum Ministry is aware there is no necessity for doing so, as the actual cost of Crude is steadily decreasing on a daily basis, due to either oversupply or other factors like the lowering of tensions with Iran.
We were gratified to see the main opposition UNP on Monday publicly hitting out at the government saying there is no excuse for this increased cost of fuel which will affect the entire economic structure, and increase the burden on the common people who are unable to bear the steadily increasing cost of living besides having to contend with the threatened increase of nearly 50% on the cost of electricity which will have a more dramatic and far reaching after-effect, unlike the increase in the cost of fuel.
We feel strongly, it is the duty of our government not to continue to fool the people into believing that this increase in the price of fuel was essential, as it is now obvious this subterfuge cannot be continued any longer. Anyone who has access to the internet can verify that the cost of crude oil from Saudi Arabia is dropping on a daily basis making it incumbent on our government to reduce the prices of fuel and cancel the fuel adjustment charge on the electricity bill and not increase the cost of electricity, as this will have a chain reaction which will affect the lives of our people, especially the poorest of the poor and also the economy.