Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera warned he will not agree to a request made by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to increase tariff rates by about 300 per cent, since CEB does not assist the renewable energy generation plans.
In a tweet he stated, “I will not take CEB request to increase tariff rates to the Cabinet since CEB does not assist the renewable energy generation plans.
CEB should allow renewable projects to proceed and reduce generation cost rather than increasing tariffs to pay their own salaries.”
The Minister said the CEB has a collective agreement that every three years their own salaries are increased by 25 per cent. “With no plans for renewable energy or cost reduction in generation, the high cost of salaries and generation costs are put on the consumers. This has to change and no better time to do it than now,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, CEB Chairman M.M.C. Ferdinando earlier said CEB intends to raise electricity tariff by 250 per cent to pay salaries of CEB employees and the final decision will be taken by Cabinet and the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka.
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.