PUCSL to up electricity tariff in August

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The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) plans to raise the electricity tariff in August after the public consultation concludes.

Its Chairman, Janaka Ratnayake, said the timing for the proposals ended on 18 July, and the special meeting on electricity tariff hikes will take place on 28 July.

He said they will decide how much of a tariff increase to implement.

Former CEB Chairman M.M.C. Ferdinando previously said the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) intends to raise the electricity tariff by 250 per cent to cover CEB employee salaries.

He said, if tariffs are not raised, CEB employees’ salaries will be jeopardised, and cause other operational issues. Presently, the CEB’s income is Rs 277 billion, while its expenses are Rs 755 billion. He mentioned that an increase in the electricity tariff is required to cover expenses.

Meanwhile, Ratnayake proposed that a transparent pricing formula be implemented because the CEB incurs unnecessary expenses in generating electricity due to the lack of a proper fuel price formula.

“Sri Lanka should establish a transparent method to determine the fuel price which will enable people to see the real cost and its fairness. I have also submitted the related information to the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) in this regard. The price of a litre of fuel in Sri Lanka should further decrease in accordance with the actual prices in the world market. The data he presented earlier regarding the actual fuel prices is correct according to a news report published yesterday which has presented the same data by the Ministry of Finance,” he said. 

Further, Ratnayake pointed out that fuel prices that are not based on reasonable costs have severely affected electricity tariffs.

“Electricity tariffs are determined through transparent methodology based on reasonable costs. All the costs from generation to distribution of electricity are made known to all stakeholders including the electricity consumer as well as the public,” he said. 

By Thameenah Razeek