Political pressure to accept substandard oil - Arjuna.

Petroleum minister Arjuna Ranatunga says politicians and businessmen are exerting pressure to permit the unloading of a substandard consignment of oil imported by Lanka IOC.

Had that consignment been released to the market, a far worse crisis will have happened, he says.

According to Ranatunga, attempts are being made to obtain permission to unload the ship that remains at anchor off Trincomalee for 16 days now.

Apologizes to the public

He noted that both the president and the prime minister have instructed him to take the correct decisions only.

The minister also said that he wanted to apologize to the public for the inconvenience caused to them as a result of this problem.

Adequate stocks are available

Meanwhile, petroleum ministry secretary Upali Marasinghe requests the public to use fuel normally as adequate stocks are available.

There is no need for them to keep stocks, he said adding that doing that would create an artificial shortage.

A ship from the UAE carrying oil is due to arrive tomorrow, he adds.

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