Religious places given concessions at public’s expense – Kanchana

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Stressing that there are no separate power plants to generate electricity at low cost for religious places, Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekara yesterday (20) said in Parliament that concessions for electricity bills for religious places were provided so far after increasing bills for the general public.

He made this remark in response to a question raised by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Ajith Mannapperuma.

The minister revealed that the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) had paid electricity bills of 148 religious places so far. “However, the Public Utilities Commission has advised the CEB not to do that anymore and the CEB will adhere to that guideline. If the Finance Ministry decided to provide a concession for religious places, we do not have any problem with that,” he added.

Speaking further, the minister said measures are being taken to provide electricity via floating solar power plants to low-income families and religious places.

He said selections have been made to provide electricity for low-income families and religious places via two units of 10 megawatt floating solar power plants.

He further said that religious places with high electricity bills should adopt renewable energy systems. Relevant officials have been instructed to look into a loan system from India and China to bring solar panels to Sri Lanka, he added.

BY Methmalie Dissanayake