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PUCSL rejects CEB’s request for tariff hike

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The Ceylon Electricity Board’s (CEB) request for a fresh electricity tariff hike has been rejected by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL).

In a letter dated July 21, the CEB’s General Manager requested approval from the PUCSL for an immediate tariff hike. The CEB sought the tariff hike on the grounds that it is estimated to lose around Rs. 33 billion by the end of this year owing to the tariff reduction approved by the PUCSL for the second half of this year.

The CEB told the PUCSL that the reduction in its revenue would hinder the possibility of meeting additional expenditures for increased thermal power generation, increased demand and other essential expenditures.

The CEB said it would also impede its ability to settle the previous debt owed to renewable power producers and other suppliers.

The PUCSL, however, has rejected the CEB’s request for an immediate hike, pointing out that the CEB would actually have a surplus revenue amounting to Rs. 31.87 billion for the period from July to December this year.

“It is the Commission’s duty to ensure fairness in tariff for all stakeholders, including the consumers. Therefore, excessive revenue requested by the CEB is not fair and has no justification,” the PUCSL has said in its reply.

A senior CEB official told the Sunday Times that the Board did not calculate its earlier tariff taking into account the dry spell lasting up to four months. With the Met Department predicting that there would be no significant rainfall until at least September, the situation could become dire, warned the official. At present, hydropower generation has gone down to just 16% while 64% of power generation is through costly thermal power generation, the official pointed out.

If there are no rains by mid-September and the PUCSL continues to reject a tariff hike, there might be no option but to impose island-wide power cuts to manage the situation, the official warned.

A PUCSL source, however, rejected the CEB’s arguments, pointing to the Rs. 31 billion revenue surplus which the source claimed the CEB was sitting on.

Meanwhile, 17 opposition MPs have submitted a motion requesting the appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to examine the electricity tariff hike affected earlier this year.

The MPs claim that the CEB’s revision of the tariff hike is in contravention of the PUCSL’s rules.

(sundaytimes.lk)

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Five killed, 21 injured in accident at ‘Fox Hill SuperCross’ event

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Tragedy struck at the “Fox Hill Super Cross 2024” racing event in Diyatalawa, resulting in the death of five individuals and leaving 21 others injured, according to Police Media Spokesperson DIG Nihal Thalduwa.

The incident occurred when a race car veered off the track and collided with a group of spectators, DIG Thalduwa explained.

The 28th edition of the ‘Fox Hill SuperCross,’ organized by the Sri Lanka Military Academy Diyatalawa with the support of Sri Lanka Automobile Sports (SLAS), commenced in Diyatalawa on Sunday (21).

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Southern province governor Willy Gamage resigns

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The Governor of the Southern Province Willy Gamage has handed over his letter of resignation effective from 02 May, 2024, to the President’s Secretary.

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5 years marked since the Easter Sunday bombings

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Today (April 21) marks 05 years since the brutal Easter Sunday bombings in 2019.

All churches across Sri Lanka will observe 02 minutes of silence at 8:45 am today (21) to remember those lost in the attacks.

Several memorial events centering the St. Anthony’s church in Kochchikade and the St. Sebastian’s church in Katuwapitiya will be held.

Police spokesman DIG Nihal Thalduwa says that security has been beefed up to areas where memorial services are being held.

In 2019, a spate of bombings that took place across the country claimed 273 lives while injuring hundreds.

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