Dec 04, Colombo: The United National Party (UNP) emphasizes that the abolition of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) established by an Act of Parliament can only be done by another Act. It cannot be done by an order of the President, says UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Wickremesinghe stated this at a discussion held with a group of party seniors at his residence yesterday (03).
The former Prime Minister pointed out that the Public Utilities Commission, which was established in 2002 during the presidency of Chandrika Bandaranaike with the aim of regulating institutions such as the Electricity Board and providing relief to the people, was able to intervene in the problems of the Board.
Mr. Wickremasinghe said the closure of the Commission would cause major problems for consumers as well as raise doubts as to whether the order was made to increase electricity prices.
Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka P.B. Jayasundera in a letter has instructed the Secretary of Treasury S.R. Attygalle on Wednesday to take necessary procedural steps to close Public Utility Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the electricity sector regulator and the designated regulator for water services.
Jayasundera in his letter suggested to reassign the “technical staff to the Department of National Planning and also deploy such staff to the Ministry of Power and to this office depending on their competencies to serve in respective places on planning and analytical work.”
The President’s Secretary noted that as tariff and connected regulatory work Is within the Government purview, certain relevant provisions in the Public Utility Commission Act could be incorporated in Consumer Affairs Authority and Ceylon Electricity Board Act when Public Utility Commission Act is replaced in due course.