Blackout threat over CPC-CEB diesel dispute
Minister demands that dues be paid back

By Malik Gunatilleke

A suspension of diesel supplies to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) forcing power blackouts will become inevitable if outstanding dues are not settled, a Cabinet Minister warned yesterday.
“Even with the tariff revision in March the CEB has not paid up Rs. 3.3 billion in arrears to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC),” Petroleum Minister A. H. M. Fowzie, told The Sunday Times.
But, the CEB is having difficulties despite the increase in tariff hikes, its Chairman Udayasiri Kariyawasam said. “Hence, we are now talking to the Treasury to resolve the matter,” he said.
However, he declared that the Treasury was not in a position to subsidize the CEB like in the past since the CEB was now buying diesel at a concessionary rate of Rs. 55 a litre.

Mr. Kariyawasam said the CEB had paid up Rs. 2.1 billion so far to the CPC between January and May 12 this year. There is further electricity tariff increase intended and we are evolving plans to improve revenue levels through cost cutting. We are also working on plans to reduce consumption of auto diesel which is more expensive than regular diesel.

The CEB increased tariffs by about 40 per cent in March in the hope of generating some Rs. 4.2 billion in revenue to settle its debts with the CPC. However, actual revenue earned has fallen short of CEB’s expectations. As a result of government concessions granted to various domestic and industrial sector consumers, the CEB has earned only Rs. 2.7 billion.

The CEB currently receives a monthly supply of about 40 million litres of diesel from the CPC, while producing about 65 percent of the country’s electricity requirements with the help of thermal power plants.

CPC chairman Ashantha de Mel said they were having discussions with the Treasury on the matter of monies owing to the CPC, and that a decision would be made soon. Mr. de Mel said the Treasury was not in a position to subsidize the CEB as it had in the past.

“Unfortunately for the CEB, both electricity tariffs and domestic fuel prices have gone up, so the CEB is not getting the expected revenue from the tariff hikes,” Mr. de Mel said.

However, according to CEB chairman Kariyawasam, the CEB has not been affected by the recent fuel price hikes. He said the CEB received diesel at a contractual price of Rs. 86 a litre.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]


Other News Articles
Blackout threat over CPC-CEB diesel dispute
President wary of defence columns
Tissa: 100 days in TID detention
PC polls nominations begin on June 27
Lighting up Thanthirimale
Water supply crisis as Hanwella road cracks up
CPJ alarmed at threat to Lankan journalists
Hotels in a flap over summit arrangements
Odds and Ends
Fair mix for eastern police
Corpse at airport: Police say man died before departure
Fresh tenders for SL Cricket insurance
Picture Story
Uneasy calm shrouds simmering east
Police combing hill country for LTTE agents and explosives
Why teachers mark wrong for Govt. answer to their salary question
Pass system out, new scheme for northern residents
BMC will not be closed- minister
Police stars for mass impersonation plan?
ICRC’s mercy flights
Maximum security for four suspects
Lack of credit limits thresher sales
Tissa: Enough is enough, free him or charge him


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 2008 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved.| Site best viewed in IE ver 6.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution