CEB chief’s dismissal of PUCSL draws severe flak

CEB chief’s dismissal of PUCSL draws severe flak

CEB chief’s dismissal of PUCSL draws severe flak

Written by Staff Writer

20 Dec, 2020 | 10:11 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) chairman has downgraded the country’s power regulator, dismissing its contribution to keeping electricity bills at low levels, drawing flak from several civic groups.

“The cost of electricity bills had not been increased only based on the government’s decision,” Vijitha Herath, the CEB chairman told News 1st.

Moves to shut down the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) – based on a directive by the President’s Secretary – has drawn severe condemnation citing it would facilitate fraudulent power deals.

But the chairman of the state-run electricity board has accused the PUCSL of taking “political decisions” and not acting genuinely.

“Between 2016 and 2020, we received 16 requests to make short and medium-term emergency power purchases. We rejected all of them,” Kanchana Siriwardena, the Vice President of the PUCSL Employees Union pointed out.

“The reason provided for certain power purchases was not found to be true.”

He noted that the power purchases would have prompted authorities to sell electricity at a higher cost to consumers.

“We received requests to purchase up to 1970 Megawatts of power between 2016 and 2020. Therefore, we saved the country and the Ceylon Electricity Board around Rs 570 billion rupees,” Siriawardena insisted.

The president of the union said the CEB had not submitted the relevant documents when seeking approval for its “emergency power purchases”.

“Since the CEB does not present those documents, the PUCSL instructs them to resubmit the proposal with the document. Delays in approving the proposals take place due to the failure to submit the documents,” N.C. Sapumange noted.

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