Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said in Parliament yesterday that the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has agreed to reduce the increased electricity tariff imposed last October.

He also said that CEB will submit the proposal to reduce the electricity bill to the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) today. Accordingly, steps will be taken to reduce the electricity bill in every sector by the percentage or more than was increased in October.

He stated that in October last year, the electricity tariffs had been increased by 18 percent for domestic use and religious places of worship, by 12 percent for industries and hotels, and by 24 percent for government institutions and general purposes categories.

The Minister said that at least the increased amount will be completely removed and even more if possible.

He said the CEB drafted a new proposal on electricity tariffs after considering the various proposals made during the public hearing by the PUCSL and proposals made by various parties including engineers at universities on tariff revision to the CEB.

“Today, we have changed the situation that prevailed in the country two or three years ago. There was a power interruption for nearly 10 hours. Since we made unpopular and difficult decisions at several crucial times, we have been able to come out of bankruptcy now and become an exemplary country for the world.

“For the last two years, we were able to get the coal supply at reasonable prices and also received a stock of furnace oil and naphtha at lower prices. With gradual strengthening of the Sri Lankan rupee against the US dollar for the last two months, interest rates for loan repayments have drastically reduced as we have avoided defaulting on loans,” the Minister said.

“The CEB has also received profits due to the rainfall that was greater than expected in October, November and December 2023. As a result, attention was paid to revision of tariffs imposed last February and providing that relief to the people.

“Whenever a power plant is built, it is opposed. Trade unions are behind that opposition. How can we reduce our generation costs then? We will no longer build coal power plants. We will focus on renewable energy. It was decided to present this Bill by next month.”

The Minister said this while joining the adjournment debate on the current situation of the country.


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