Electricity tariff hike troubles FTZMA

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The Free Trade Zone Manufactures’ Association (FTZMA) wrote to Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekara saying that they are astonished by the unprecedented move of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) to raise electricity charges unreasonably beyond the raise requested by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).

They said FTZMA, which is the sole trade chamber, representing BOI investor companies in all the Free Trade Zones on the island, the published electricity hike by the PUCSL is a rising concern of the export manufacturing sector which consume more electricity. It’s quite alarming, and some of the enterprises might be facing the danger of closure due to the electricity hike.

“You can observe that industry sectors in all categories are currently experiencing the largest hikes as this incremental cost is going to add to their manufacturing cost which would result in making ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ products in the export market highly uncompetitive. Moreover, the Small Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) in the category 1-1 being hit hardest by this price hike are extremely worried about the impact on their liquidity position and business survival.”

They pointed out that the foreign direct investment is evaluated by using many criteria of which the cost of operation is becoming a significant determinant because energy cost, electricity is directly associated with the cost of production of the investors. Therefore, they urged the Minister to re-visit and analyse the price structure once again mind bearing that FDIs (Foreign Direct Investors) are the future lifeline.

They demanded a reasonable revision in the price change.

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan