President to announce relief package on May Day

CEB engineers target PUCSL



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By Ifham Nizam


President Mahinda Rajapaksa will today spell out a relief measure., especially for lower rung electricity consumers, who were badly hit by the tariff revision that came into effect on April 20, a top Power and Energy Ministry official said.


Ministry Secretary M. M. C. Ferdinando told The Island that President Rajapaksa would come out with the relief package as he was not happy with the recent tariff revision that would cause numerous hardships in various quarters especially, poor segments of the society.


The Island reliably learns that the President is furious with officials who came out with the revision package particularly targeting the needy and middle income levels.


Meanwhile, the powerful Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) yesterday questioned whether the existence of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUBCL) was any use to the public while adding that the government could not go on subsidizing the Board’s ever rising debt.


Union President Nandika Pathirage yesterday said that they were not aware how the Commission cut down Rs. 40 billion from the projected expenses for 2013. "In this regard, no proper measures were spelled out," he told a media briefing held in Colombo yesterday.


He said that Rs. 90 million had been allocated for the expenses of the PUCSL for 2013.


CEB Chief Engineer (Renewable Energy Projects) Noel Priyantha said that the Union had questione the Commission on the methodology used to cut down Rs. 40 billion. However, to date the Commission had not come out with an answer.


He also said that the Union would not entertain the Commission statement that CEB had neither a daily audit, nor sufficient data to be transparent.


However, senior official in the Commission said that they had spelled matters to relevant parties, including the CEB General Manager and were not answerable to unions.


He also said that public consultancy document clearly indicated the methodology used.


Meanwhile, the September 28, 2012 Gazette indicated revenue and expenses of PUCSL for 2013 as being Rs. 264 million.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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