Minister of Petroleum Resources Susil Premajayantha has been asked to clarify to the public, as to why no action was taken against persons involved in oil hedging transactions, with the former Attorney General Mohan Peiris, himself, having asserted that they were ultra-vires and illegal. This request was made by public interest activist Nihal Sri Ameresekere [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Why no action against hedging offenders? asks public interest activist

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Minister of Petroleum Resources Susil Premajayantha has been asked to clarify to the public, as to why no action was taken against persons involved in oil hedging transactions, with the former Attorney General Mohan Peiris, himself, having asserted that they were ultra-vires and illegal.

This request was made by public interest activist Nihal Sri Ameresekere in a letter to the minister recently. In his letter Mr. Ameresekere states that the former Attorney General objected to his Fundamental Rights application filed at the Supreme Court in 2009 against oil hedging deals by Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), and no remedial action had been taken or caused to have been taken by the CPC.
Consequently, in July 2011 a scandal was reported in the media on the import of low quality petrol, with the CPC reported to haveá paid compensation to consumers affected by the use thereof. The Minister then acted to replace the CPC Board for a controversy vis-Ó-vis the import of low quality diesel, which has affected motor vehicles, buses and trains, he added.

But Mr Ameresekere pointed out that faced with a similar situation the Minister did not take action against persons who were involved in the hedging deal which caused a heavy financial loss for CPC. In his FR petition, he had urged the judiciary in 2009 to make an interim order directing the CPC to tender to Court formulated guidelines with stipulated time schedules for the procurement of petroleum oil products, to ensure transparency and competition, so that these products are procured at the most competitive prices, and after approval by the Court of such guidelines, with the time schedules, they be made public and always adhered to.

However the former Attorney General Mohan Peiris objected to this petition and no directive had been issued, he said adding that the present oil procurement crisis could have been avoided if the CPC authorities had formulated such guidelines.




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