Ravi asks for Rs. 50 billion to settle CEB debts

Ravi Karunanayake

Power, Energy and Business Development Ministry has requested Rs. 50 billion from the Treasury to settle a part of Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) debt, a top official said.

CEB losses exceed Rs. 100 billion, according to officials.

Ministry Secretary, Dr. Suren Batagoda, contacted for comment, told The Island that CEB had to bear losses as electricity was subsidised. “The majority of the consumers pay between Rs. 3 and 4 per unit which costs the Board Rs. 20,” he said.

Batagoda said that plans were underway to increase the CEB’s credit limit from Rs. 6 billion to Rs. 8 billion, on a request from Minister Ravi Karunanayake.

The Teasury has issued a Rs 11 billion worth of Treasury bonds for the purchase of coal for the next six months.

According to officials of the Ministry funds would be used to purchase coal to prevent power disruptions during the coming months.

CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) Executive Board Member and its former President Saumya Manawadu told The Island that despite rains more than 50% of electricity was produced from coal burning.

(Source: The Island – By Ifham Nizam)

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