CEB owes CPC Rs. 46 b – AG | Sunday Observer

CEB owes CPC Rs. 46 b – AG

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has an aggregate of Rs. 46.4 billion to be paid to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, as of yesterday, claims the Auditor General’s Department.

Speaking to the Sunday Observer, the Auditor General, H. M. Gamini Wijesinghe said that the amount owed as a result of fuel usage, stands at Rs. 39.4 billion while the amounts owed due to power plant projects is another Rs. 7 billion.

“Both these institutions should not be running at a loss. These institutions don’t incur the losses due to the concessions that they give to the public but rather as a result of the inefficiency of those departments,” the Auditor General stated.

Crucial laps in management in these departments, high salary scales and unnecessary recruitment of employees to the CEB are some of the reasons that were highlighted as reasons for uncalled costs that results in institution losses.

“They incurred a loss due to the violation of tender procedures. Losses can be reduced if there is proper management within the institution,” he said.

When contacted secretary to the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry.Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda stated that they are in the process of clearing out all outstanding amounts and that after the conclusion of the credit period of one and a half months CEB pays a penalty at a commercial rate.

Dr. Batagoda claimed that the outstanding payable stands slightly over Rs. 30 billion.

“The outstanding is for the last two years. Previous bills were cleared in 2015. The total bill is over Rs. 30 billion.”

He was also optimistic that the fuel consumption will considerably reduce after hydro power generation is restored.

“Due to the current rains, the water levels of our reservoirs are up so the situation is expected to be better. Therefore, hydro will carry more of the base load.”

Dr. Batagoda said both these institutions are not commercial organizations but is mainly operated based on government policy. “So the government will dictate the terms in which we have to provide services to the general public,” he said, while explaining that concessions are a main reason for incurring losses.

“Today we purchase an electricity unit between Rs. 17–20 but we charge the a domestic house about Rs. 7 per unit and a commercial building irrespective of the size of the factory a mere Rs. 10 per unit. Which means the remainder has to be absorbed by the CEB and ultimately by the Treasury,” Dr. Batagoda said. 

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