Electricity tariff hike over next two years — CEBEU

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The overall impact of the amendment to the Sri Lanka Electricity Act No. 20 of 2009 would unfold by way of an increase in the electricity tariff over the next two years, President of the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU), Anil Ranjithwarned.

He added the amendment to the Electricity Act that was passed in Parliament amidst protests by CEB trade unions, does not ensure least cost generation and thereby would result in an increase in the electricity tariff that will be passed onto electricity consumers.

Ranjithsaid the amendment would also pave the way for fraudulent electricity deals while abolishing competitive bidding.

He added the CEB unions did not oppose the proposed handing over of the wind energy belt in Mannar and Pooneryn to the Indian-based Adani Group but only called for it to be carried out through competitive bidding.

“There has been baseless accusations against CEB trade unions of being against renewable energy generation,” he said, adding that CEB trade unions were not in any manner against renewable power generation as long as it is generated in the proper manner.

Ranjith further observed the current power cuts could persist for at least over two to three years depending on the availability of resources required for power generation adding that the CEB, PUCSL, the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Power and Energy should hold discussions and implement a standard power generation plan.

CEBEU previously warned there could be an indefinite power outage from 9 June due to a strike carried out by CEB unions against the amendment to the Electricity Act and the proposed handing over of the wind energy belt in Mannar and Pooneryn to the Adani Group and for certain other demands.However, following a discussion with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, they called off the strike.

This was followed by an Enjoining Order issued by the Colombo District Judge PoornimaParanagama preventing members of the CEBEU from disrupting the continuous supply of electricity to the public by engaging in trade union action.

Ranjith on 15 June observed that although the strike was called off, measures will be taken to continuously express displeasure over the amendment and the handing over of the wind energy belt in Mannar and Pooneryn to the Indian-based Adani Group without any disruption to the continuous supply of power.

BY Faadhila Thassim