Cabinet green-lighted electricity tariff hike - CEB

Cabinet green-lighted electricity tariff hike - CEB

November 30, 2022   05:46 pm

The Cabinet of Ministers has granted the approval for an electricity tariff hike as the increase made in the recent past is insufficient to cover the loss of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).

This was disclosed at the meeting of National Council’s Sub-Committee on Identifying Short- and Medium-Term Program related to Economic Stabilization on Tuesday (Nov 29). The meeting was held under the chairmanship of MP Patali Champika Ranawaka.

The cabinet has approved to increase the electricity tariffs under two steps in January and June 2023. Accordingly, the relevant measures are to be taken for the purpose of obtaining approval of the Public Utilities Commission, said the CEB’s Additional General Manager, Rohan Seneviratne.

The representatives of the government and private institutions related to the power sector were called before the sub-committee to obtain proposals for the purpose of solving the issues in the power sector.

In order to cover the current loss, the electricity bill should increase by about 70%, the electricity board representatives said.

The chairman of the committee also pointed out the dangers such as the collapse of businesses even if the electricity tariffs are increased with the aim of covering the loss of the electricity board.

It was also disclosed that the electricity board currently owes nearly Rs. 650 billion as loans to various parties including banks and electricity suppliers.

The Electricity board representative stated that out of the amount to be paid, nearly Rs. 35 billion are to be paid to the organizations that supplied renewable energy and Rs. 75 billion are to be paid for thermal power suppliers.

Thus, it was said that it is expected to least make part payment to the suppliers from the Rs. 50 billion loan expected to receive.

The representatives of the renewable energy sector including solar energy and the representatives of other private institutions related to the power sector briefed the committee about their concerns and the reforms that should take place in the power sector.

State Minister for Power and Energy Indika Anuruddha was also present at the Committee meeting held. The state minister, who joined the discussion with the representatives of the power sector, said that he would work to provide solutions to these problems.

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