LP Gas will be purchased with the intervention of the Government in the future, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.
“These activities will be carried out by a high level board of the Treasury.
This will put an end to all alleged corruption, irregularities and commissions in the purchase of gas. Therefore, these companies will be able to save a lot of money that has gone out of their companies,” he noted. He was responding to a question by a journalist at a press conference at the Ministry on Wednesday.
“The relevant suppliers have requested the Government to increase the prices of not only fuel but also many essential commodities including gas.
However, we, as a ministerial sub committee appointed to prevent increase of gas prices, took a number of alternative steps.
Therefore, the gas suppliers had to accept our recommendations.
“These gas companies lose around Rs. 1 billion a year. Laugfs Gas had its own large terminals, but Litro did not. So they had a huge increase in operating fees. At our request, Laugfs Gas agreed to allow their terminals to be used by Litro as well.
“That situation too was a decision taken by us as a Committee. Therefore, we gave that benefit to the public without increasing the price of gas. Also, 18 liter gas cylinders were being sent to the market, but we as a committee immediately announced the re-release of 12 kg gas cylinders to the market. We also informed the Consumer Protection Authority that if these steps are not taken, legal action will be taken against the two companies immediately. 12 kg gas cylinders are coming to the market again,” he noted.
He said those steps were taken after studying and addressing all issues related to the gas market.
“However, the Leader of the Opposition says that the gas price was not increased due to the protests carried out by them. He is talking nonsense. He does not know about the role of the Leader of the Opposition,” he remarked.
Responding to a question by a journalist, the Minister also emphasized that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will not support the Opposition’s No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against Minister Udaya Gammanpila.
“We do not support the No-Confidence Motion brought by the Opposition. The decision to increase fuel prices was not taken by Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila personally. The decision was taken by the Cost of Living Committee and finally approved by the Cabinet.
“The people of the country are in a big crisis at the moment. Some have no income. All sources of income have been cut off due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The government is also in a difficult situation. There is a dollar deficit. That is why the Government took this decision reluctantly,” he explained.Meanwhile, journalists inquired about the Government’s alleged harassment of minority parties, including the SLFP.
“The Sri Lanka Freedom Party is not a minority party. We are the second largest party after the main party in this Government. It is true that we have some issues with the Government. Our district organizers are being bullied. We will present facts to the President and the Prime Minister in this regard. We can discuss and find solutions. There are many opportunities to do so,” he noted.