Electricity tariff hike on the cards | Sunday Observer

Electricity tariff hike on the cards

The Electricity Users’ Association (EUA) has launched a campaign to defeat the Power and Energy Minister’s attempt to increase electricity tariff to recover a loss of Rs. 100 billion suffered by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB). It said a Rs. 7 electricity tariff increase per unit was in the pipeline.

The Association’s Convener Sanjeewa Dhammika told the media in Colombo last week, that Power, Energy and Business Development Minister had said the CEB had incurred a loss of Rs.100 billion.

The electricity tariff was to be increased by about Rs. 10 per unit to cover this loss, he said.

The increase in emergency power purchases since 2016 has contributed to the losses of the CEB.

The CEB had incurred losses due to the purchase of electricity from the private sector at Rs. 40 per unit without a proper tender process, he added.

According to the Sri Lanka Electricity Act, tender procedures had to be followed when purchasing electricity. But the Power and Energy Ministry had violated the Electricity Act with regard to purchasing power from 2016 and now was in the process of covering up the frauds that they committed by passing it on to electricity consumers in the form of a tariff hike, he said.

The CEB had requested the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) to allow the electricity unit cost to be increased. However, the PUCSL had rejected the request as there was no proper transparent regulatory accounting system and due to ad hoc purchase of costly emergency power.

“We should remember that the regulator has not given approval for the emergency purchases of power by the CEB from 2016. Due to that, the Power and Energy Ministry has obtained Cabinet approval for taking over the powers of the PUCSL to commit further frauds,” Dhammika alleged.

“We, as the Electricity Consumer Association, will launch an islandwide protest campaign to protect the rights of the 6.3 million users. We will also act swiftly to take legal action to protect them,” he said.