Electricity tariff hike:
Govt will review outcome _ Keheliya
The government will review the outcome and side effects of its
decision to increase the electricity tariff. Suitable measures will be
taken to rectify them if problems arise, Mass Media and Information
Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said.
Addressing the Cabinet press briefing at the ministry auditorium
yesterday, the minister said the government would look at any problem
that rises due to the recent electricity tariff hike, since it
understands that electricity is the lifeline of a country.
Responding to a question by a journalist, the minister said providing
excessive concessions to satisfy short term political agendas that may
ultimately lead to the downfall of the country is not the government
Rambukwella said the government had to take a difficult, but correct
decision to increase the electricity tariff to ensure a proper financial
management in the state.
He said the government is providing greater concessions to the public
in numerous forms in various fields such as health, education and
electricity, but these should be maintained under some control to avoid
a long term negative impact on the country.
The minister said the country could not be taken forward if the
development work was though less important while depending solely on
He said providing too much concessions to win people’s support for
short term political agendas was a common mistake by past regimes.
Rambukwella said this fault should be corrected at some point.
He said unlike in the past, about 95 percent of the population in the
country now use electricity, and the government has to bear a huge cost
to provide electricity to all.
The minister also observed the contribution of hydro power
generation, which is the cheapest source of power, was only about 14
percent of the total demand last year, even though this percentage is
30-35 percent usually.
He said the more the government has to depend on furnace oil for
power generation, the more the government’s cost for power generation
Rambukwella said with the commissioning of coal power plants, the
unit cost for power generation would decline enabling the government to
bring down the unit prices.
He said if the government is in a position to be able to provide any
concession, it would never hesitate to provide it.
The minister said the public too should make a genuine effort to use
electricity sparingly understanding the reality.
Information Department Director General Prof Ariyarathna Athugala