100 days should not be a barrier to fulfil election promises


By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

President Maithripala Sirisena’s 100-day programme should not be a barrier to fulfil all promises made during the election, including constitutional changes coupled with electoral reforms, repealing of executive presidential powers and appointing commissions for judiciary, bribery and corruption and public service, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka recently said.

Speaking at a ceremony where a generator was donated for Mihintale Sacred Area in Anuradhapura, Minister Ranawaka said that the all promises made on January 08 should be honoured within 100 days, but the short period should not be a barrier.

"Most people ask what the new government has done. We have reduced the fuel prices, among other things, and people are enjoying benefits of that progressive move."

The Minister said he had set a target of providing 24 hours of uninterrupted power supply for the entire country within the new government’s 100 days programme.

He also assured an uninterrupted electricity supply for all villages in Anuradhapura District before Sinhala and Tamil New Year in April.

The Minister said Sri Lanka would be the only South Asian country that provided an uninterrupted power supply 24 hours a day.

"In 2010,  when I was appointed as power and energy Minister, the government had planned to provide 100 per cent power supply countrywide at the end of 2018 and we expedited our programme in 2012 under the ‘Electricity for all in 2012’ project. We scheduled to launch the project with Iranian funds, but we couldn’t fulfil the promise due to crippling Western sanctions imposed on Iran."

But, this year, the power supply would be provided through Ceylon Electricity Board’s (CEB) funds. There was no cash input from the government, the Minister added.

"We reduced fuel prices and then the consumption has increased drastically. In Pakistan, currently there is an 18-hour power cut.

In Bangladesh they have gas sufficient only for two years. Therefore, we must seriously consider managing our energy frugally to ward off a possible scarcity.

Minister Ranawaka said the new government would initiate work to ensure that the country would have not face power and energy related problems in the future. 

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