ECONOMYNEXT – The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has ordered the state-run electricity utility and distributor to pay interest on security deposits of consumers from January 2017.
Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) accounts show the money collected from consumers as security deposits on which interest must be paid was Rs10 billion by end-2014, said Damitha Kumarasinghe, Director General of the PUCSL.
PUCSL said it has approved an annual interest rate of 8.93 percent for the security deposits (a monthly interest rate of 0.715 percent) for 2017, effective from 1st January.
The interest rate is based on the average weighted fixed deposit rates published by the Central Bank, a statement said.
Kumarasinghe said electricity consumers are entitled to receive a payment for the security deposits under the Electricity Act of 2009.
Under the law, the CEB and the Lanka Electricity Company are required to pay an interest on the security deposit at the rate approved by the PUCSL for the period in which it remains in the hands of the licensee.
“Today only we sent out the guidelines,” Kumarasinghe said. “We are making the public aware they are entitled to interest on their deposits.”
The PUCSL said interest payment on security deposits of retail consumers will be calculated on a yearly basis and credited to the consumer’s electricity bill in January of the following year.
Interest payment for bulk supply consumers will be calculated monthly and credited to the bill on a monthly basis.
The PUCSL said non-payment of interest on security deposits would be an offence under the provisions of the Electricity Act.
(COLOMBO, Jan 31, 2016)