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PUCSL takes U-turn on retrospective electricity price hike

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Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the island nation’s power regulator, has taken a U-turn and agreed to the cabinet decision on a retrospective electricity tariff hike with immediate effect after a meeting with President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Janaka Ratnayaka, the PUCSL Chairman, earlier had told media that the cabinet decision to raise electricity tariff retrospectively was against the law and he would not allow such price hike.

“We had a discussion with all the directors of PUCSL on January 12, after the cabinet decision was published where we had decided to not to implement any retrospective electricity tariff going against the electricity and the PUCSL act,” Ratnayaka told reporters on Friday.

“On January 19, all the directors were asked to come to the National Council to discuss this. But before that other three members of the board were called by the President without informing me,” he said.

“After the meeting, at the National Council these three members said they did not receive the decision on time and did not have the time to review the cabinet decisions and data. They said because of that they had agreed with me”.

Ratnayaka said the three commission members went back on the decision taken at the board meeting on January 12, which was that the cabinet decision should be implemented immediately.

“They (the three members) had 7 days from January 12 to 19 and within those days they could have informed me in writing that they had revised their decision. Without doing that, they put me in trouble by suddenly changing their decision in front of the National council,” Ratnayaka said.

“If anyone can (change and) implement an independent commission’s decisions like this, we are doomed. I will personally take legal actions against their actions in the coming days.”

After the National Council, members have asked for a board meeting. Ratnayaka said a board meeting will be called next week.

“Me as the Chairman of the PUCSL and many other members of this organization are strongly stand on our decision,”

He said the tariff needs to be increased and the scientific method of implementing it is now being carried out by the PUCSL.

(economynext.com)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by economynext.com has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Alka Yagnik diagnosed with “rare sensory hearing loss

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Veteran Bollywood singer Alka Yagnik, who revealed that she has been diagnosed with a “rare sensory hearing loss” due to a viral attack, has suffered a type of hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear or the nerve pathways that transmit sound from the ear to the brain.

According to Dr Manish Munjal, Vice Chairman, ENT, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, sudden sensory hearing loss is a medical emergency as it can become irreversible if not aggressively treated in 48-72 hours.

“The centre of the problem is the inner ear organ called Cochlea, where it happens due to damage to the hair cells,” Munjal told IANS on Tuesday.

The causes may range from simple viruses like Herpes, Varicella, and Mumps or sudden loud exposure to noise levels above 85 decibel (dB).

Munjal also mentioned that this disorder may also result from more serious causes like painkiller overdose, chemotherapy, tumour compression, meningitis and stroke.

“The need of the hour is usually to rush to an ENT specialist to get the necessary ear examination done as well as get an audiometry test. Once diagnosed, the treatment may require a cocktail of antivirals, oral and intratympanic steroids, as well as rest from noisy environments,” he stated.

According to the doctor, once the treatment is initiated, the chances of recovery are usually 70 per cent and above.

The disorder affects only 1 per cent in bilateral ears as compared to single ear, Munjal noted.

(IANS)

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President apologizes over compulsory cremations during Covid-19 pandemic

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has apologized for making cremation compulsory during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“During this time there was a lot of pain, mainly felt not only by the Muslims, but also Hindus, Buddhists and Christians, I know who also prefer burial,” President Wickremesinghe said in Parliament.

He said that a committee appointed to look into the matter at the time had recommended cremation, a decision which was upheld by the Supreme Court as well. So, that had to be followed. There was no other alternative during that time, he said.

He assured that Sri Lanka will bring in a law that will allow the right of burial, right of cremation or gifting one’s body to medical institutions.

(Excerpts : dailymirror.lk)

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Postage stamp to be increased to Rs. 100 in July

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A proposal has been made to increase the price of an ordinary postage stamp to Rs. 100 by July, Mass Media Ministry Secretary Anusha Palpita said.

He told the Daily Mirror that the Postal Department is currently incurring an annual loss of Rs. 7,000 million.

“Last year, the loss was reduced to Rs. 3,200 million. However, with a salary increase for postal employees costing Rs. 2,800 million this year, the Postal Department’s loss will rise again to Rs. 7,000 million.” he said.

“If the losses continue to increase, it might reach Rs. 5 billion by 2025. Less than 1.5 million people use postage stamps, yet the entire country bears the burden of the Postal Department’s losses,” he added.

The price of a stamp was Rs. 15 until 2022, and the current price is Rs. 50.

“We are awaiting approval from the Treasury to raise the price of a postage stamp. This decision is necessary due to the ongoing losses of the Postal Department,” Palpita said.

(dailymirror.lk)

(This story, originally published by dailymirror.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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