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Tue, 11 December 2018 14:01:57
Sri Lanka to allow more lubricant sellers
26 Nov, 2013 20:40:11
By Jayantha Kovilagodage
Nov 26, 2013 (LBO) - Sri Lanka will shortly license more players to sell lubricants in in the island officials said, expanding the freedoms of citizens.
Sandya Wijebandara, additional secretary of Sri Lanka's petroleum ministry told a business forum in Colombo that already three companies have applied to start dealerships.

Sri Lanka at one time had a state monopoly in lubricant selling and blending and it then became a private monopoly.

But later more players were allowed to import but citizens still do not have full freedom to buy any lubricant brand with an entry barrier in the form of a license.

Wijebandara said more applications were expected by the deadline.

"We are ready to license any number of players who meet the criteria," she said.

There are expectations that at least 10 other players may enter the industry.

Soumen Ganguly, from Lanka IOC, a unit of Indian Oil Corporation said Sri Lanka only had a 50,000 metric tonnes a year market and already there were 13 players.

India had a 1.3 million tonne market and there were only 25 players he said.

It may be difficult to do business with 23 players in Sri Lanka he said.

At the moment Chevron, Lanka OIC and state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation are among the front runners. Those will blending facilities also have an advantage over imported final product sellers.

Though Sri Lanka's Public Utilities Commission acted as the shadow regulator for lubricants it still lacked the teeth prosecute those who were selling low quality oils, Ganguly said.

PUCSL director general Damitha Kumarasinghe said there was nothing wrong in increasing competition and companies would have to gain market share with better products.

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