Local fuel prices will remain stable despite fluctuations in the world market, Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila said today. .
The Minister said this at the Ministerial Consultative Committee meeting on Energy in response to a concern raised by Member of Parliament Wasantha Yapa Bandara regarding the approaches to alternative sources of energy given that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has been incurring loss continually despite the change of regime in governance.
Elaborating on the above, the Minister stated that constant fluctuation of fuel prices had been largely felt by those who relied heavily on public transport and therefore it had been decided to maintain a fixed fuel price and that they were looking at the establishment of a stabilisation fund by studying contemporary market trends.
Government MP Udayana Kirindigoda expressing his views pointed out that petroleum was previously transported by rail which resulted in the development of storage facilities near railway stations such as Peradeniya. However, he emphasised that given that petroleum was being transported via bowsers at present that were facing increased traffic congestion and resources were not being utilised properly.
Acknowledging the aforesaid, Mr. Gammanpila stated that in addition to heavy congestion and the underutilisation of resources, it was also costly and contributed largely towards environmental pollution. He said that at present 35% of the fuel was transported by rail and 65% by bowsers and that he wished to increase transportation of petroleum via rail by 60% whilst maintaining the balance between the distribution of petroleum by the modes of both bowser and rail.(Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)