Nov 30, Colombo: In order to cover the loss, the electricity board should increase the electricity tariff, representatives of the Ceylon Electricity Board have explained to the National Council Subcommittee on Identifying the Short and Medium-Term Programs related to Economic Stabilization.
Although the electricity tariff has been increased in the past, it is not sufficient to cover the losses of the Electricity Board and therefore, the request to increase the electricity bill has received cabinet approval, the Sub Committee of the National Council was told at its meeting held yesterday (Nov. 29) under the Chairmanship of MP Patali Champika Ranawaka.
Accordingly, the Cabinet has approved to increase the electricity tariffs under two steps in January and June 2023 and the relevant measures are to be taken for the purpose of obtaining approval of the Public Utility Commission, said Rohan Seneviratne, Additional General Manager of the Electricity Board.
The representatives of the government and private institutions related to the power sector were called before the Committee to obtain proposals for the purpose of solving the issues in the power sector.
In order to cover the current loss, the electricity bill should increase by about 70%, the CEB representatives said.
The chairman of the committee also pointed out the dangers such as the collapse of businesses even if the electricity tariffs are increased with the aim of covering the losses of the electricity board.
It was also disclosed that the Electricity Board currently owes nearly 650 billion rupees as loans to various parties including banks and electricity suppliers.
Electricity Board representative stated that out of the amount to be paid, nearly 35 billion rupees are to be paid to the organizations that supplied renewable energy and 75 billion rupees are to be paid for Thermal power suppliers. Thus, it was said that it is expected to least make part payment to the suppliers from the 50-billion-rupee loan expected to receive.
The representatives of the renewable energy sector including solar energy and the representatives of other private institutions related to the power sector briefed the committee about their concerns and the reforms that should take place in the power sector.
The State Minister for Power and Energy Indika Anuruddha was also present at the Committee meeting held. The state minister, who joined the discussion with the representatives of the power sector, said that he would work to provide solutions to these problems.
State Minister Sivanesathurai Santhirakanthan, Members of Parliament Mano Ganesan, M. Rameshwaran were present at this Committee meeting held.