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National Council gives instructions on electricity bill

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Respective officials were informed today (13) that the Ceylon Electricity Board and the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka hold discussions before the Public Utilities Commission takes the final decision on the 15th regarding the electricity bill.

Accordingly, the officials of both parties agreed to meet this afternoon (13) for the purpose of discussing this matter.

This was informed when the National Council met today (13) under the chairmanship of Speaker Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana and Prime Minister Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena.

The Chairman of the Electricity Board said that if the required percentage is not allowed to be increased in a background where the Electricity Board is demanding a 60% increase in electricity tariffs, it will have to face a serious crisis. Accordingly, he pointed out that due to the lack of money even to import coal in the future, there is a risk for longer power cut.

The officials of the Public Utilities Commission said that arrangements are being made to announce the final decision on the electricity increase on the 15th. They also pointed out that the data from the CEB and the views of the relevant stakeholders including the public have been obtained.

Attention was also paid to the fact that the Chairman and the Director General of the Public Utilities Commission are currently abroad. The Secretary of the Public Utilities Commission said that they had gone abroad after proper permission as planned many months ago and the Chairman and Director General had intervened in all these activities in full capacity.

The National Council pointed out that at such time, it is more important to discuss the views of both the Electricity Board and the Public Utilities Commission and come to a consensus and take a decision where as in failure to do so would otherwise cause suffering to the people which cannot be avoided.

Furthermore, the chairman to the National Council sub-committee Identifying the Priorities in Formulation of Short-, Medium- & Long-Term National Policies, Member of Parliament Hon. Namal Rajapaksa informed the National Council of the National Policy Commission to be established. The Prime Minister gave instructions to take steps to get the views and suggestions of the members of Parliament after completing the preparation of the concept paper. Accordingly, the Prime Minister said that necessary steps will be taken through the National Council on this regard.

Ministers Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga, Hon. Kanchana Wijesekera, Hon. Tiran Alas, State Ministers Hon. Sivanesathurai Santhirakanthan, Hon. D. V. Chanaka, Hon. Sisira Jayakody, Members of Parliament Hon. Johnston Fernando, Hon. Rohitha Abeygunawardana, Hon. A. L. M. Athaullah, Hon. Namal Rajapaksa, Hon. Sagara Kariyawasam were present at the meeting held. Mr. Tikiri K. Jayathilake, Assistant Secretary General of Parliament was also present at the Council meeting held.

Moreover, the members of the Public Utilities Commission, the officials of the Ministry of Power and Energy and the Ceylon Electricity Board were also summoned before the National Council.

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Presidential Poll can be held with Acting IGP – Fmr. Election Chief

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Former Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said there is no obstacle to holding the Presidential Election with an Acting Inspector General of Police.

He said he believes the current IGP can hold the position he held before until the court hearing concludes.

He said he believes a suitable person should be appointed as Acting IGP tomorrow, adding that there may be no IGP until the hearing concludes, but the election can be held under an Acting IGP.

He added that there is no issue because if the country is governed under an appointed President, it is not a big deal to conduct the election under an Acting IGP.

(News1st) 

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Japan officially notifies SL to resume disbursement to Yen loan projects

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Following the completion of the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Official Creditor Committee (OCC) and Sri Lanka on 23 July and the expression of the willingness by the Government of Sri Lanka to swiftly conclude a bilateral agreement on debt restructuring, the Government of Japan has officially decided to resume disbursement to Yen Loan Projects, which had been suspended since the default of Sri Lanka in 2022.

On 24 July, the Government of Sri Lanka, the Embassy of Japan and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sri Lanka Office held a joint press conference to inaugurate this milestone decision at Ministry of Finance.

While congratulating the completion of the MOU on debt restructuring between Sri Lanka and the OCC, Ambassador MIZUKOSHI Hideaki highlighted the unprecedented initiative and outstanding contribution by the Government of Japan, as a co-chair of the OCC, in leading and concluding the public debt restructuring.

Ambassador Mizukoshi also commended Sri Lankan authorities for their ongoing efforts in implementing the comprehensive economic and social reforms essential to guide the country back to a sustainable path. He stated that all the suspended yen loan projects are crucial infrastructures that promote Sri Lanka’s economic growth and further reaffirmed Japan’s continuous and unwavering commitment to supporting Sri Lanka.

On behalf of Mr. Yamada Tetsuya, Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka Office, Ms. Ide Yuri, Senior Representative, handed over the official letter on this decision to Mr. Mahinda Siriwardana, Secretary to the Treasury, which is addressed to President Wickremesinghe from Dr. Tanaka Akihiko, President of JICA.

Ms. Ide Yuri expressed her hope that the resumption of Yen loan projects will contribute to stabilizing the economy and society of Sri Lanka and help gain momentum toward long-term sustainable growth, thus paving the way for Sri Lanka to recover trust and confidence from the people and private businesses of both Sri Lanka and the world.

Secretary Siriwardana expressed his profound gratitude for this decision and sincere appreciation for Japan’s excellent initiative and long-term dedication in the debt restructuring.

It is hoped that the resumption of disbursement to Yen loan projects would further strengthen the bond between Japan and Sri Lanka, as well as help this island nation bring itself back on track for further economic development, serving as a hub in the Indian Ocean.

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Cabinet takes decision following SC order on IGP

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During a special Cabinet briefing today (July 24), it has been decided to announce its response to the decision of the Supreme Court regarding the Inspector General of Police (IGP) within the next two days after studying in depth the legal aspects of the matter.

The special cabinet meeting chaired by President Ranil Wickramasinghe was held this evening at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo.

The Cabinet of Ministers had been of the opinion that since the decision of the Supreme Court regarding the IGP was received only this afternoon, adequate time is needed to conduct an in-depth study of the related legal issues.

Accordingly, it was unanimously decided that it would be most suitable to announce the response of the Cabinet in the next two days.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued an interim order preventing Deshabandu Tennakoon from performing duties and functioning in the position of the IGP.

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