More relief for electricity consumers struggling to pay inflated bills caused by the COVID lockdown
ECONOMYNEXT- The government is making further concessions to electricity consumers who received huge bills after the lockdown ended.
The Cabinet of Ministers at their weekly meeting today considered a number of concessions for consumers proposed by Power and Energy Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and agreed to reduce electricity bills by 25% where electricity consumers have consumed electricity units between 0-90 units in the months of March, April and May.
Co-Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said that those consumers will be given a grace period of three months to pay up while there will not be any disconnections or late fees.
He said Amaraweera has informed the cabinet that about 73% of in-house electricity consumers will get a direct advantage through this relief package.
Further, he said this relief package would cause the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to suffer a huge loss but will provide relief to the people who were affected by COVID-19.
However, he said the President, the Prime Minister and the members of the Cabinet discussed further giving more relief to electricity consumers despite the losses to be borne by the CEB and other providers.
Gunawardena said that the subject Minister Amaraweera was asked to find out any further relief that could be given through this package such as increasing the 25% reduction up to 120 units and present it for cabinet approval next week.
He said relief measures that have already granted will not change but it will not be the final decision regarding relief to electricity consumers.
The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) the state regulatory body proposed a formula for the CEB and the other provider Lanka Electric Company Ltd to apply to reduce the bills that became inflated when metre readers could not operate during the lockdown.
LECO has already implemented the formula and its subscribers have been given the concessions as of this month.
It is not known whether the relief measures proposed at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting would be extended to LECO customers as well. (Colombo, July 9, 2020)
Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe