No power rate hikes for one year – Basil

‘CPC, CEB breaking-even no  big issue with IMF’

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa however, said electricity tariffs would not be increased for at least one year.

Responding to a question raised by The Island as to whether electricity rates would be increased so that the loss making Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) would  come close to breaking-even by the year’s end he said, "With rains coming down and with proper management, we can get by without raising electricity rates. I can confidently say there would be no upward revision for at least one year."

According to the US$ 2.6 billion standby facility arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government has agreed to break-even the combined books of the CEB and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC)

Fuel prices were already increased last Sunday and with the CEB continuing to sustain heavy losses, estimated at Rs. 139 million a day, an upward revision of electricity tariffs is anticipated if the government remains committed to the IMF condition.

"The combined break-even of the CPC and CEB is not a big issue with the IMF. They (the IMF) would prefer, and so would the government, to see a turn around at these institutions," Rajapaksa said.

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