Minister assures gradual easing of power crisis | Daily News

Minister assures gradual easing of power crisis

CPC has required quantities of petrol and diesel

Energy Minister Gamini Lokuge assured that the prevailing crisis will ease gradually as the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has the required quantities of petrol and diesel.

“Accordingly, he said that the required amount of fuel has been supplied to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and power plants. And apart from that the public will also be provided with the required fuel,” he added.

While addressing a press briefing at the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna headquarters yesterday, he said that the power failures and lack of fuel has become a hot topic today, but highlighted that the situation cannot be reversed at this time by any Government.

He also added that when the “Good Governance” Government was in power, the country did not face an economic crisis but the country suffered a major setback after the Easter Sunday Terror Attacks. “After the Easter Sunday Terror Attacks, the tourism industry was badly affected resulting in a major loss of foreign revenue. In addition, the CPC changed the policy of buying oil directly and petroleum loans were obtained,” he said.

Moreover he said that when the current Government came to power there were those which were obtained by the previous Government loans to be settled and thereby the Government had to settle them. “Also, due to the global economic crisis, all the old suppliers refused to supply oil for a long time. But now the situation will ease as the CPC has the required quantities of petrol and diesel. Measures have been taken to supply fuel to all distribution centres to date but the Government provides diesel at a loss because diesel is utilized by many consumers,” he added.

Furthermore, he added that discussions are underway to provide relief to the semi-public sector and the private sector. “Rs.5,000 have been added to the salary of the public sector and to the pensioners. The Opposition is only capable of criticizing the Government but they do not come up with solutions. Our Government provided tax concessions to strengthen businesses instead of taxing everything like the previous Government did. Now, with this economic downturn some taxes will have to be introduced,” he added.

MP Sudarshana Denipitiya said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa took steps to restrict the importation of certain goods in order to strengthen the export market conditions in the country. “With everything imported, the few dollars we had went abroad. Therefore, by restricting imports, goods that are imported will be produced locally,thereby strengthening the local economy and providing entrepreneurs new opportunities,” he added.

He also said that the President has initiated plans to build a 5000 MW Renewable Energy Project in Mannar.



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