The Director General of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), Damitha Kumarasinghe last week indicated that Sri Lanka will adopt a Regulated Pricing Mechanism on electricity tariffs revised biannually commencing from April next year. Addressing a training programme to educate the staff of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the Lanka Electricity Company (LECO) on Regulatory Accounting, Kumarasinghe outlined that the government has already decided with the Commission that there will be two price revisions per annum, October 1st and April 1st every year.
“So this regulatory accounting system and the guidelines will be used in tariff revisions from next April, 2017. So it is very important that we all get together and follow this guideline and ensure a transparent, fair tariff system for the country which will internally benefit the consumer as well as the utilities and the government,” the Director General said.
Kumarasinghe noted that cost reflective tariffs are a mandatory legal requirement, both under the Sri Lanka Electricity Act (Section 30) and the PUCSL Act and therefore binds utility service providers to charge cost-reflective tariffs so that they will not find it difficult to finance their activities.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board, Anura Wijepala said that with the coal power plant now in operation catering to about 40 to 50 percent of Sri Lanka’s daily energy requirements at comparatively cheaper costs, it is high time Sri Lanka implemented the regulatory mechanism.
“We have been waiting for a long time to have cost reflective tariff in this country and although the PUCSL has been in function and the Electricity Act has been in force, we have never had a cost reflective tariff in this country,” Wijepala said.
“If we make cost reflective to the tariff, and if the cost is sky rocketing, and the people cannot reach it, then I think this is not good.”
The CEB Chairman says that monopolies cannot survive in this world unless they are well regulated with checks and balances.