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‘Litro Gas incurring heavy losses as a result of not revising prices’

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Litro Gas is now in a position to refill and distribute Laugfs LPG gas cylinders provided proper legal clearance is made. Litro Gas is incurring heavy losses and is about to exhaust its reserves, because it has not revised its prices despite the high world market price, a senior gas industry source said.

“Litro Gas now has an over 80 percent market share in the domestic gas market and if requested could meet the total demand of LPG cylinders. There is no major technical/safety issue in refilling/ crossing filling Laugfs with Litro. However, there is a legal issue as the Laugfs cylinder is not our property, the source said.

“Litro has grown its strength and could easily move in to fulfill the total domestic LPG gas requirement, president, LP Gas Distributors Association Sathyendra Wijayapura told the Island Financial Review.

Wijayapura added: “Our association could take over Litro Gas Company by investing in it to supply gas in an uninterrupted manner in keeping with Litro’s former multinational company, Shell’s, business model. We have funds to invest in Litro Gas but also need to import another 150,000 cylinders to manage operations.

“Laugfs Gas commenced operations 20 years ago, initially as an auto gas alternative before moving in to

LPG. Today, the heavily debt- ridden company owns tankers and a large LPG storage facility at Hambantota, widely seen globally as a non-performing asset, but finds itself at the center of controversy, brought on by the fact that the common platform recommended for the LPG industry is allegedly favouring Laugfs.

“Laugfs was also given approval to increase the price of domestic gas with the Consumer Affairs Authority approving the price of a Laugfs 12.5kg cylinder to be increased. But Litro Gas has not revised its prices for the last two years and when the Litro Gas price was revised two years ago one metric ton of gas cost US $ 350 and now it has increased to US $ 800 in the international market.

“Therefore, Litro Gas Company is making operational losses due to the LPG price hike in the global market. However, as a responsible company it is not out to put additional pressure on the public and would not look for an immediate price hike.

“Subsequently, Laugfs Gas Chief Executive Chaminda Ediriwickreme was quoted as saying that they have placed an order for a shipment and expect to re-start operations in a small way on August 20. However, this is yet to be a reality.

“We also want to say that it’s not practical to merge with Laugfs forming a new company and we oppose this move taking into account long- term distributing implications.

“We thank former Treasury Secretary and current Presidential Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara for initiating the takeover of 51% shares of Shell Gas, who opted to move out of Sri Lanka in 2011. Dr. Jayasundara obtained these shares by taking US$ 61 million from Sri Lanka Insurance and Litro in turn paid back this amount in four years justifying this acquisition.

“To date Litro has paid a dividend of Rs. 13.5 billion and also Rs. 34 billion in tax to the government and is now about to go bankrupt and has no funds to even place the next purchasing order.

“It must be noted that 35 per cent of the customers in Sri Lanka use LPG as cooking fuel. Another 52 per cent of customers use dual fuel, one of which is LPG. For these customers and the industrial segment who rely heavily on LPG, the way forward is uncertain.”



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Lotus Tyres celebrates success with luxurious retreat for top performing dealers

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Lotus Tyres dealers and families

Samson Rubber Industries Pvt. Ltd recently arranged a luxurious retreat at a star-class hotel to express gratitude to Lotus Tyres dealers and their families. The dealers and their family members enjoyed two days of relaxation and fun at Hotel RIU – Ahungalle, creating lasting memories together. Lotus Tyres, which previously organised a similar programme at the RIU Hotel, received high praise from Tyre Dealers for organising another successful event. Winners of the sales promotion programme organised for dealers who met their sales targets last year (2023), were rewarded with this special opportunity. The event was attended by the management of Samson Rubber Industries, along with the sales and marketing team of Lotus Tyres.

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ComBank donates milestone 300th IT Lab to Nalanda Boys School Minuwangoda

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Commercial Bank Chairman Sharhan Muhseen, Deputy Chairman Raja Senanayake and Managing Director/CEO Mr Sanath Manatunge at the formal opening of the 300th IT Lab donated by the Bank.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon’s nationally-significant campaign to boost digital literacy in Sri Lanka has reached an impactful milestone with the completion of the 300th IT Lab donation by the Bank.

Commercial Bank Chairman Sharhan Muhseen, Deputy Chairman Raja Senanayake, Managing Director Sanath Manatunge, Chief Financial Officer Nandika Buddhipala and Deputy General Manager Retail Banking & Marketing Hasrath Munasinghe, who are Trustees of the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility Trust, led the Bank’s representation at the beneficiary school – Nalanda Boys Central College, Minuwangoda, at this event.

Every IT lab donated by the Commercial Bank is equipped with new computers and accessories, and furniture, and is maintained and upgraded by the Bank periodically to ensure that the labs are used by multiple batches of students over many years. The Bank estimates that the IT labs it has donated to schools have already benefitted more than 300,000 students.

Funded as a flagship corporate social responsibility initiative of its CSR Trust, Commercial Bank’s IT education programme is aligned with the country’s Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for everyone.

In 2023, the Bank launched a new project to promote science education in 50 schools in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Science Branch of the Ministry of Education. The project is one of a series of initiatives supported by the Bank to take science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to schools across the country.

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Eco Tablet launches latest vehicle-care products

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Media Coordinator of Eco Tablet Rangila Dasanayaka at the launching event

Eco Tablet has launched their latest products, Glass Reborn and Glass Cleaner Rain Drop, which clean all the glass and side mirrors of vehicles and give them a brighter and transparent look. Their latest product, Glass Reborn removes dust particles, acid rain stains and minor scratches from front and rear windshields, door and quarter glasses and side mirrors, giving them a brand new and clear look. It can be used for glasses and side mirrors of vehicles manufactured in any part of the world such as Japan, Europe, India, Korea, the United States of America and China. After shaking the Glass Reborn bottle, a few drops of it should be applied on the glasses and mirrors and rubbed well to remove stains. It should later be wiped with a microfiber or clean piece of cloth. A 130 millilitre-bottle of Glass Reborn can be used for more than five small cars.

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