Allegations made by the UNP with regard to the Petroleum Corporation are baseless. Former Corporation Chairman S. Thalpahewa reminisced that it was the Ranil Wickremasinghe Government which sold petroleum resources to the Indian Oil Company.
UNP media spokesman Gayantha Karunatilake during a recent news conference had accused the Government of attempting to bring a third Company to the petroleum field and thereby privatize the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. In an immediate response, Minister Susil Premajayantha refuted these allegations said they were totally baseless and unfounded.
A former Chairman of the Petroleum Corporation and Managing Director S. Thalpahewa has published an article in this respect to The Island newspaper today. He recalled that it was the United National Front Government of Ranil Wickremasinghe which had vested one third of the shares of the Petroleum Corporation in an Indian Firm. It is still a secret as to why it was vested in an Indian Oil Company sans any tenders and streamlined procedure. At a recent media conference Gayantha Karunatilake had announced that shares of the Petroleum Corporation had been sold to the Indian firm to overcome a loss of about 38 Billion rupees incurred by the Corporation.
Mr. Thalpahewa pointed out that no such mention had been made even in the Government’s cabinet paper. He said that in 2002 a profit of 2.3 Billion Rupees had been paid to the Treasury. As such there is no truth in the statement made by Gayantha Karunatilake that the Corporation was running at a loss. Karu Jayasuriya, who was serving as a Minister in another Cabinet memorandum had proposed that there should be a third Company for a competition in the petroleum field. As such, Mr. Thalpahewa proves that a third party proposal had come from the UNP.