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Friday, 19 April 2013






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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 policy.

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 concessions.

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 rises.

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 also participated.


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