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Thursday July 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka CEB settles Rs4bn in arrears: Minister

solar panels and wind turbines generating electricity at green energy renewable power plant with blue sky background

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has settled arrears payments amounting to  four billion rupee from the previous year, Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera said.

“CEB has settled all its arrears payments up to the April 30 that was due to the Rooftop Solar Customers,  amounting to Rs 4 Billion that was outstanding for the last 12 months. CEB will continue to make all other arrears payments to the Renewable suppliers, IPPs & other suppliers on a monthly payment plan & settle in full in the next 6 months,” the Minister tweeted on Friday June 30. 

The CEB has lost 34.3 billion rupees, up 4.2 percent from a year ago, despite a tariff hike, as finance costs went up steeply, interim accounts show.

Revenues in the March 2023 quarter went up 86 percent to 121.1 billion rupees but costs also went up at a slower 50 percent to 142.0 billion rupees.

CEB reported a gross loss of 20.8 billion rupees in the March 2021 quarter, down from 30.4 billion rupees.

Other income went up to 3.1 billion rupees from 2.1 billion rupees.

Sri Lanka’s renewable energy sector was to go to court over non-payment of arrears by the CEB as discussions with CEB officials proved unfavorable, the Federation of Renewable Energy (FRED) said in November 2022. 

According to data shared by FRED, the CEB had 10 months’ worth of arrears totalling 35.18 billion rupees dating back to October 2021.

However, the government had promised to pay back the arrears in installments of 100 million rupees per day, in June 2022, which didn’t take place due to the country’s economic environment. (Colombo/Jun30/2023)

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Sri Lanka to conduct threat assessments for presidential candidates

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has submitted a cabinet paper proposing security measures for presidential candidates and former presidents, following the recent attack on former US President Donald Trump during a campaign rally in the USA.

“This proposal suggests the appointment of a committee to conduct threat assessments and provide necessary security for Presidential candidates as well as former Presidents,” a statement from his media division said.

The committee will include the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Security as Chair, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Inspector General of Police, the Chief of National Intelligence, and the Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police/Elections.

A Deputy Inspector General of Police will be appointed to oversee all security arrangements.

The committee and the designated officer will work closely with the Election Commission to ensure seamless coordination of security arrangements, the PMD said.

After today, July 17, Sri Lanka’s Election Committee is empowered to announce a date for the presidential polls due to be held this year.

Minister of Foreign Affairs M U M Ali Sabry has said the election will be held on October 5 or 12.

Members of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) have said that the government should be accountable for the security of Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, the SJB’s presidential candidate. (Colombo/Jul17/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes flat at 303.80/304.00 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed almost flat at 303.80/304.00 to the US dollar on Wednesday, from 303.70/304.00 to the US dollar on Tuesday, dealers said, while bond yields were down.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.60/75 percent, down from 10.82/92 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2027 closed at 11.60/38 percent, down from 11.65/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 closed at 11.72/78 percent, down from 11.80/90 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.05/10 percent, down from 12.05/20 percent. (Colombo/Jul17/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down, John Keells, Hemas, Hayleys push turnover

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed down on Wednesday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed down 0.41 percent, or 48.44 points, at 11,830; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed down 0.52 percent, or 17.91 points, at 3,456.

Turnover was 1.2 million. A big part of this (Rs597mn) came from John Keells Holdings Plc (down at 194.25).

“There was foreign buying interest on John Keells and Hemas,” Softlogic Stockbrokers said.

“We saw foreign interest in selective counters persist.”

Hemas Holdings Plc contributed Rs143mn to the turnover, and the share closed down at 81.10.

Hayleys Plc contributed Rs156mn to the turnover, and the share closed up at 101.50.

The three crossings made up 67 percent of the turnover.

The capital goods counters, with all the bluechips, was the leading sector contributing to the day’s turnover.

With the exception of Hayleys and a couple of other companies, the counter saw most stocks close down or flat.

Sentiment around the banking counters also remained negative.

“The volatility in investor sentiments persisted. There are a lot of spectators in the market over the last few weeks, despite some positive news coming in.”

Treasury bill and bond rates have also dropped.

The top contributors to the ASPI were Melstacorp Plc (up at 86.00), SMB Finance Plc (up at 0.70), and TeeJay Lanka Plc (up at 40.00).

There was a net foreign inflow of 392 million. (Colombo/Jul17/2024)

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