Cabinet approves electricity concessions

Bandula Gunawardana

The Cabinet of Ministers has approved a 25% concessionary reduction of the total value of electricity bills issued for the months of March, April and May, during which the country was in lockdown to prevent the unhindered spread of COVID-19.

Speaking at the weekly Cabinet media briefing held this morning, Co-Cabinet Spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardana stated that Cabinet approved granting a three-month relief period to pay said bills and also assure that electricity supply would not be disconnected.

However, Minister Gunawardana noted that the concession will be applicable only to consumers who have used between zero to a maximum of 90 units.

Gunawardana said “While incurring losses, a proposal was presented to grant concessions to the public, by granting a 25% concessionary reduction for consumers who used between 0-90 units, for the months of March, April and May, providing an additional three months to settle the bill, to refrain from charging a late fine to ensure the power supply will not be disconnected for any reason. It will directly benefit 73% of houses directly. The Cabinet discussed if additional concessions can be granted in this instance. The President, Prime Minister and Cabinet discussed many matters including the additional units used during these few months in comparison to the months before the lockdown was imposed, and if the maximum unit to grant concessions can be increased to 120. A request was made to table this package before the Cabinet for approval once again next week. The concessions that were granted will not be reduced; they will be improved further next week.”

Meanwhile Minister Bandula Gunawardana stated that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has granted the Cabinet of Ministers an extension of two more weeks to submit views and opinions pertaining to the review report formulated on the Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement.

He said “Some Ministers tabled their opinions in this regard in writing after studying it. However, a large number of Ministers said they need to further study the report in depth. For this purpose, the President granted two more weeks for all Cabinet Ministers to submit their opinion in writing. Accordingly, opinions will be submitted within two weeks. We have clearly stated the government’s policies to the country and the people.”

(Source: News Radio)