CEB submits proposals to increase electricity tariffs | Daily News

CEB submits proposals to increase electricity tariffs

GM says Treasury will not provide monies to CEB this year

Ceylon Electricity Board Chairman Nalinda Ilangakoon said the methodology of 20 proposals for increasing the electricity tariff has been submitted to the Cabinet and the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) for approval Based on those decisions, the electricity tariff is expected to increase from January 1, he said.

He said that it is not the intention to inconvenience the customers by increasing the electricity bill, but if the electricity bill is not increased, it will not be possible to provide continuous power supply since the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is facing a severe financial crisis currently.

The chairman mentioned this while addressing a special press conference held yesterday (12) at the of the CEB headquarters.

Addressing media Ilangakoon further said that his expectation is to provide continuous electricity to 7 million electricity consumers round the clock.

“The Electricity Board has prepared 20 methods regarding the increase in electricity bills and they have been submitted to the Cabinet and the PUCSL,” he added. He added that although it is not his intention to inconvenience the people by increasing the electricity bill, it is not possible to cover the cost through the current electricity tariff system as the CEB is in the middle of a grave economic crisis.

He also pointed out that the payment of money for coal, naphtha and diesel has become a serious problem. The chairman said that 33 coal ships are coming to Sri Lanka and 21 of those coal ships are arriving at present.

The Petroleum Corporation has also refused to provide fuel without money and therefore it is negotiating with the banks to get necessary funds for that purpose.

He said that the income received at this time is not able to cover the expenses. He also said that although a thirty-four per cent interest has to be paid for the loans taken from the banks. The CEB is currently in a severe financial crisis as it is unable to find the necessary funds to manage the expenses as well as the expenses from the income received.

The Chairman also stated that there is no truth in the news circulating that the employees of the CEB have been given bonuses. No bonus has been given to any employee. It is said that they are looking into whether it is possible to get the employees to agree not to increase the salaries that should be made according to the collective agreement.

He said that he expects to increase the electricity bill from January 1 and has submitted new proposals to the Cabinet to increase the electricity bill. However the CEB has not yet received the decision of the Cabinet to increase the electricity bill.

The Chairman also said that it is expected to provide continuous electricity supply for educational activities on the days when the Advanced Level Examination is held.

The chairman further mentioned that there is a risk that the Kelanitissa Thermal power plant may stop operation from today (13), unless receiving the money for getting the required amount of fuel for the power plant by today.

CEB General Manager Rohan Senaviratne said that no money will be given to the Electricity Board this year from the Treasury and the Government has asked the Electricity Board to provide electricity around the clock. But the General Manager, who pointed out that it has not been possible to cover the cost from the income, said that 85 per cent of the cost is the cost of electricity generation, 10 per cent is the cost of distribution, and 7 per cent is the cost of the staff.

He said that the electricity bill is expected to be charged according to the system approved by the Cabinet until February 15 this year and then under the system provided by the Public Utilities Commission. He said that the reason for the increase in the cost is the rapid rise in the price of coal and fuel and now six billion rupees have to be paid for a coal ship and it is very difficult to find that amount.

He added that since the electricity bill has not been increased for 9 years after 2014, the loss is about 350 billion rupees, but that loss has not been added to the new method of increasing the electricity bill.



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