CEB seeks 250% tariff hike

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The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) intends to raise the electricity tariff by 250 per cent to pay salaries of CEB employees.

CEB Chairman M. M. C. Ferdinando said, the final decision will be taken by the Cabinet of Ministers and the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL).

He said, if tariffs were not raised, CEB employees’ salaries will be jeopardised, and other operational issues will crop up.

Currently, the CEB’s income is Rs 277 billion, expenses are Rs 755 billion. He said an increase in the electricity tariff is necessary to meet expenses.

Speaking to the media yesterday (6) at the Ministry of Power and Energy, Ferdinando said Cabinet will soon make a decision on raising the electricity tariff. He also highlighted that even though the tariff needs to be increased by 250 per cent, Cabinet will not agree because people will avoid paying the electricity bill.

“However, as Chairman, I support raising the electricity tariff. This is because there was no increase in electricity tariffs after 2014, which is unfortunate, but if we could have increased tariff prices on a year-by-year basis, the impact on the people would not have been as severe. In addition, we resumed disconnecting electricity connections for people who were late on payments. As a result, we believe that the majority of the money that should have arrived at the CEB can be recovered,” he said.

When asked if the CEB was able to recover the money that ministers had defaulted on he stated that the ministers had begun paying the bills in instalments and that there was no problem with that.

BY Thameenah Razeek