Mar 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka is considering to gradually increase electricity tariffs to cover the losses its power authority, Ceylon Electricity Board (CED) is incurring as the cost of production of electricity rises.
The Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Dr. Jayatissa De Costa has said that the state-owned CEB has already submitted proposals to increase electricity tariffs.
Speaking to a local radio station, Hiru FM, the Chairman warned the public of the impending rate hike and said that a public notice has been issued to CEB to send written submissions to the PUC regarding tariff hikes before March 20.
The PUC will allow an opportunity for the public to state their views on April 4, the chairman said adding that a decision to raise rates will be taken only after considering all the ideas.
He said the two main factors under consideration are the welfare of the consumer and ensuring the continuous operation of CEB without losses.
The chairman warned that a rate hike is inevitable due to the rising cost of production of electricity.
Meanwhile the Combined Trade Union of the CEB accused the CEB of attempting fulfill its own agenda through the increase of electricity tariffs.
Operations Committee member of the CEB's CTU Ranjan Jayalal said the government is trying to raise electricity tariffs using the PUC without implicating itself for the burden on public.
He charged that CEB is increasing rates and burdening the public to increase salaries for its workers.
According to the Central Bank the CEB sustained a loss of 25.5 billion rupees in 2011 and loss of Rs. 45-50 billion is estimated for 2012.
The Central Bank recommended the government to consider price adjustments for the services provided by the Ceylon Electricity Board to contain the losses incurred by the state institution.