An Echelon Media Company
Saturday January 28th, 2023

Sri Lanka schedules power cuts up to 13-hours for March 31

ECONOMYNEXT – Power cuts of up to 13 hours in some areas in Sri Lanka has been approved for March 31, Public Utilities Commission Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said as a flexible exchange regime created severe foreign exchange shortages and power deficits in the dry season.

The CEB has decided to cut power from 12am to 8am for the first time in the ongoing power crisis.

Areas ABCDEF and PQRS will see 3 hours of power cut from 3am to 6am, 4 hours from 12pm to 4pm and 6 hours from 6pm to 12am.

Areas GHIJKL and TUVW will experience 3-hour power cut from 12am to 3am, 4 hours from 8am to 12pm and 6 hours from 4 pm to 10pm.

Areas MNOXYZ, however, will witness only 5.5-hour power cut – 3.5-hour interruption from 5.30am to 9am and 2 hours from 4pm to 6pm.

Download the power cut schedule for March 31 from here 31-03-2022-Power-Interruption-Schedule-full

Though the government has said the duration of the power cuts will be reduced gradually, the power cut has been extended mainly due to lack of fuel amid severe shortage of US dollars.

The lack of fuel also has resulted in large queues for diesel and petrol despite record price hikes. (Colombo/ March 30/2022)

Comments (29)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Sampath says:

    This is very unfair that you are cutting electricity for 13 hours. The people are suffering because of the mistakes the government made. I have old patients living in my house who need electricity.

  2. Sampath says:

    Please don’t power cut in group V there are old patients living in that area. Please this is very unfair

  3. Kadija says:

    WHY NOT CUT ALL THE POWER LINES FOR EVER. WE CAN LIVE IN PEACE LIKE IN YEAR 1800

  4. F H says:

    Disgusting 😡😡😡😡😡😡

  5. Nimeshika says:

    we are al student who study for 2022 exame we have no time to study due to this programe unfortunately we are so sad about the government morning we have schools and after we have class to joing every al studen study at night this is serious problem for all students in sri lanka

    1. mathu says:

      this is too bad

  6. Corina Miskin says:

    We understand the crisis in the Country. But there are several areas (Ex : Areas in Piliyandala, Kelaniya, Gampaha) with NO POWER CUTS. We kindly request you to consider power cuts for those areas which do not have ANY POWER CUTS and give us some concession by reducing our power cuts at least by an hour or two. Please help us

  7. Kapila says:

    probably we have to face over 10 hours power cuts in few weeks or month until macroeconomic stability(SIYALOMA KALUWARA IMMU) .will see

  8. Fa says:

    රෑට කරන්ට් කපන්නේ නැතිව දවල්ට කපන්න ඔය පැය ගාන. අනිත් එක තමයි අපි දැනුවත්ව electricity bord එකේ ඉන්න ලොක්කන්ගේ පැතිවලට කරන්ට් කැපන්නේ නැහැ. හරිම අසාධාරණයි.

  9. SNMS Semasinghe says:

    please be kind enough to arrange a method of informing daily power cut schedule/relevant area by a sms to the customers

  10. Lynn says:

    Lies again these schedules don’t work to specified time’s how can we plan our day I’m sick of this country

  11. Lynn says:

    Lies again these schedules don’t work to specified time’s how can we plan our day I’m sick of this country

  12. Sampath says:

    This is very unfair. Please don’t power cut for 13 hours in Kotehena ST. Benedicts street area. There are 2 schools. Also I have old patients living in my house who need electricity . Please don’t do this

  13. Dr. Ranjan Jayaratne says:

    Why only certain privileged areas are devoided of power cuts . Eg. Piyaratnarama Place, Dehiwela ,Near Water Tank has no power cuts at any time. And also I suggest electricity board to terminate sending monthly bills to consumers in power cut affected areas until normalcy prevailed. This is to compensate the inconvenience caused due to power cuts. Hope Board will take up this matter seriously. Otherwise a court decision will have to be taken to pay the consumers for the inconvenience caused due to power cuts. Thank You

  14. Harsha says:

    ikmanata light denna current eka nathuwa sahenna lessons block wenwa.eka sahenna paduwak.

  15. Chamilka de silva says:

    Hell. Im in kandy mapanawathura. Power cut from 12.35 to until now (6.40 pm ) and our area letter is F hahah we still on power cut. This is bullshit.

  16. Rupasinghe says:

    Ceb welldone when 24 hour power cut

  17. Rupasinghe says:

    Welldone ced when 24 hour power cut

  18. Chamod udara says:

    ගල්ගමුව wata kiyatada enne

  19. Chamod udara says:

    ගල්ගමුවta kiyatada karant eka enne

  20. Onitha says:

    Maru anduva

  21. Mahesh says:

    Thanks

  22. Someone says:

    How the bloody hell we can find our area,

  23. Ruwan says:

    This is torture. Its like living in hell without electricity. Please power cut to the Rajapakse family as well so they can understand the suffering of the people.

  24. Tuany says:

    Comments won’t help improves situations .
    We have to get out of this pit somehow who ever created it.!!

  25. Enid Dooldeniya says:

    Get money from IMF and give electricity. Get a good Economist as Finance Minister. Invest in Solar Power Plants.

  26. Pasindu says:

    කණු ටිකයි වයර් ටිකයි ගලවන් යමල්ලා

  27. සංජීව කරුණාරත්න says:

    හෙට D කලාපයට විදුලිය විසන්දි වෙන්නේ කොහොමද

  28. Kush says:

    We do understand the situation of the country, but there must be a plan for this, I’m having my cambridge alevels from May 4th onwards, and due to this we’re really unable of studying not only me I guess government olevels too gonna be held on the month may, this is really a big issue to our studies, we do have our exams sometimes online and we do have MT classes. Not only me almost all the srilankan students face this problem. Hope everything will be fixed with time ⏲ 🙏🏻 and God bless to everyone whose sitting for cambridge alevels and government olevels 🙏🏻❤

View all comments (29)

Comments (29)

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Sampath says:

    This is very unfair that you are cutting electricity for 13 hours. The people are suffering because of the mistakes the government made. I have old patients living in my house who need electricity.

  2. Sampath says:

    Please don’t power cut in group V there are old patients living in that area. Please this is very unfair

  3. Kadija says:

    WHY NOT CUT ALL THE POWER LINES FOR EVER. WE CAN LIVE IN PEACE LIKE IN YEAR 1800

  4. F H says:

    Disgusting 😡😡😡😡😡😡

  5. Nimeshika says:

    we are al student who study for 2022 exame we have no time to study due to this programe unfortunately we are so sad about the government morning we have schools and after we have class to joing every al studen study at night this is serious problem for all students in sri lanka

    1. mathu says:

      this is too bad

  6. Corina Miskin says:

    We understand the crisis in the Country. But there are several areas (Ex : Areas in Piliyandala, Kelaniya, Gampaha) with NO POWER CUTS. We kindly request you to consider power cuts for those areas which do not have ANY POWER CUTS and give us some concession by reducing our power cuts at least by an hour or two. Please help us

  7. Kapila says:

    probably we have to face over 10 hours power cuts in few weeks or month until macroeconomic stability(SIYALOMA KALUWARA IMMU) .will see

  8. Fa says:

    රෑට කරන්ට් කපන්නේ නැතිව දවල්ට කපන්න ඔය පැය ගාන. අනිත් එක තමයි අපි දැනුවත්ව electricity bord එකේ ඉන්න ලොක්කන්ගේ පැතිවලට කරන්ට් කැපන්නේ නැහැ. හරිම අසාධාරණයි.

  9. SNMS Semasinghe says:

    please be kind enough to arrange a method of informing daily power cut schedule/relevant area by a sms to the customers

  10. Lynn says:

    Lies again these schedules don’t work to specified time’s how can we plan our day I’m sick of this country

  11. Lynn says:

    Lies again these schedules don’t work to specified time’s how can we plan our day I’m sick of this country

  12. Sampath says:

    This is very unfair. Please don’t power cut for 13 hours in Kotehena ST. Benedicts street area. There are 2 schools. Also I have old patients living in my house who need electricity . Please don’t do this

  13. Dr. Ranjan Jayaratne says:

    Why only certain privileged areas are devoided of power cuts . Eg. Piyaratnarama Place, Dehiwela ,Near Water Tank has no power cuts at any time. And also I suggest electricity board to terminate sending monthly bills to consumers in power cut affected areas until normalcy prevailed. This is to compensate the inconvenience caused due to power cuts. Hope Board will take up this matter seriously. Otherwise a court decision will have to be taken to pay the consumers for the inconvenience caused due to power cuts. Thank You

  14. Harsha says:

    ikmanata light denna current eka nathuwa sahenna lessons block wenwa.eka sahenna paduwak.

  15. Chamilka de silva says:

    Hell. Im in kandy mapanawathura. Power cut from 12.35 to until now (6.40 pm ) and our area letter is F hahah we still on power cut. This is bullshit.

  16. Rupasinghe says:

    Ceb welldone when 24 hour power cut

  17. Rupasinghe says:

    Welldone ced when 24 hour power cut

  18. Chamod udara says:

    ගල්ගමුව wata kiyatada enne

  19. Chamod udara says:

    ගල්ගමුවta kiyatada karant eka enne

  20. Onitha says:

    Maru anduva

  21. Mahesh says:

    Thanks

  22. Someone says:

    How the bloody hell we can find our area,

  23. Ruwan says:

    This is torture. Its like living in hell without electricity. Please power cut to the Rajapakse family as well so they can understand the suffering of the people.

  24. Tuany says:

    Comments won’t help improves situations .
    We have to get out of this pit somehow who ever created it.!!

  25. Enid Dooldeniya says:

    Get money from IMF and give electricity. Get a good Economist as Finance Minister. Invest in Solar Power Plants.

  26. Pasindu says:

    කණු ටිකයි වයර් ටිකයි ගලවන් යමල්ලා

  27. සංජීව කරුණාරත්න says:

    හෙට D කලාපයට විදුලිය විසන්දි වෙන්නේ කොහොමද

  28. Kush says:

    We do understand the situation of the country, but there must be a plan for this, I’m having my cambridge alevels from May 4th onwards, and due to this we’re really unable of studying not only me I guess government olevels too gonna be held on the month may, this is really a big issue to our studies, we do have our exams sometimes online and we do have MT classes. Not only me almost all the srilankan students face this problem. Hope everything will be fixed with time ⏲ 🙏🏻 and God bless to everyone whose sitting for cambridge alevels and government olevels 🙏🏻❤

Sri Lanka utility to continue power cuts, regulator says no

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has decided to continue power cuts, as the dry season hits the country despite orders to give 24 hours of power.

The utility said its Board “has decided to continue the demand management programme” and it has informed the regulator of this decision on January 27.

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka said it had not approved the power cuts “as it violate and affect the rights of 331,000 students sitting for the Advanced Level exams.”

Sri Lanka’s CEB has high running costs due to long term scuttling of planned coal plants by activists and lastly President Maithripala Sirisena.

‘CEB’s costs went up as demand went up since the last coal plant opening and steady collapse of the currency from 131 to 182 to the US dollar due to open market operations unleashed to suppress rates and operate a flexible inflation targeting by the central bank.

Even more aggressive liquidity injections after 2020 to target an output gap then busted the currency from 182 to 360 to the US dollar.

CEB has to use extra fuel from around February to April 2022 as the dry season hits reducing hydro power.

Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission has ordered the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to supply fuel and banks to give credit for extra power.

Power Minister Kanchana Wijesekera has alleged that CPC officials agreed under duress and threat of jail sentence to supply fuel.

The CEB has to cut power in case demand outstrips supply to maintain frequency at 50 Hz to avoid cascading failures, according to sector analysts. (Colombo/Jan28/2023)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka president suspends parliament till Feb 08

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe has suspended parliament till February 08, according to a gazette notice.

Parliament will re-convene at 1000 am on January 08.

President Wickremesinghe told party leaders that he would make a speech, officially declaring his intention to give effect to the 13th amendment to the constitution on provincial councils.

Provincial councils, a power sharing arrangement backed by India as a solution to the ethnic Tamil have not yet been given police and land powers. (Colombo/Jan28/2023)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka, other defaulting nations have widely differing debt indicators: Expert

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka other recently defaulting nations have widely differing debt indicators, and some other countries survive with even higher levels of debt, a US based analyst has said.

“If you look at the ratio of debt to GDP, the size of the economy the number is very high, mostly because there has been a lot of depreciation, so the debt in dollars keeps growing relative to GDP,” Sergai Lanau, Deputy Chief Economist at Washington based Institute of International Finance said.

“This is sometimes over-emphasized… but this ratio at 120 is a lot.”

He was speaking at a forum organized by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.

“Just for a reference point about 6 or 7 years ago Italy’s debt was 120 percent GDP, there was a lot of concern in the Euro area and that is a country that has the ECB. So Sri Lanka at 120 is a lot.”

Italy however is in a monetary union with Euro which is a floating exchange rate without anchor conflicts and forex shortages and basic external payment problems.

Sri Lanka is trying to bring the ratio down to 95 percent by 2032 under an International Monetary Fund backed program, according to a leaked letter from India.

“Typically for many years there was as lot of emphasis on debt ratios, when people looked at debt restructuring – or at least economists,” Lanau said.

“And that is something that always puzzled bond traders who came from the corporate sector. For them it is all about the flows and gross financing needs.

“The IMF has shifted its focus a lot financing needs over the years and it is a less of a problem now.”

Ghana has defaulted and it is trying to reduce its debt from around 90 percent to below 60 percent by 2028. It is starting at a much lower level and correcting within a shorter period to an even lower level.

Sri Lanka’s debt ratio is high but it “may or may not be a constraint”, he said.

What the … was that?

The IMF’s default workout framework is a work in progress, which has changed over the years since mass defaults hit market market countries which were denied monetary stability through intermediate regimes especially in Latin America from the early 1980s.

Until 1980, when the so-called BBC policy (now called exchange rate as the first line of defence) where countries were encouraged to bust their currencies instead of withdrawing inflationary policy, sovereign defaults were not a problem.

“During the 1970s, the risk of sovereign default was not perceived as a major concern,” the IMF itself admits.

“Most “external arrears” generated by a country were created by exchange restrictions. For example, an importer might miss a payment because the authorities were slow to release foreign exchange.

“Sovereign default had not been a problem since the Second World War.

“Therefore, the IMF’s policy framework was not equipped to confront the complications that arose in the context of the sovereign debt difficulties that emerged in the 1980s.

“In fact, it took until 1980 for the IMF’s Executive Board even to agree that a default on sovereign debt should also be covered under the external arrears policy.”

Washington based policy circles began to prescribe, inconsistent, anchor conflicting intermediate regimes with aggressive open market operations to anyone who was willing to listen after the Fed floated, in the false belief that currencies fell due to ‘overvaluation’ and not liquidity injections.

Countries like Sri Lanka where there is no doctrinal foundation in sound money and no knowledge of classical monetary theory, were easy prey, critics say.

East Asia and Japan rejected such regimes. Malaysia is a prime example which despite not having a legal hard peg, fixed itself, repaid debt ahead of time, when tin and other commodity prices collapsed in the wake of Volcker tightening, while Latin America defaulted.

Elephant in the Room

A country with a soft pegged central bank (flexible exchange rate or intermediate regime) will see debt rocket each time it suppresses interest rates to target a policy rate and triggers a currency crisis.

Once a currency crisis hits, on one had the domestic currency value of external debt which is denominated in dollars protecting sovereign bond holders, goes up.

Interest rates of domestic debt also have to go up to stop the money printing and halt forex shortages which can widen the overall deficit in the short term.

The currency collapse also kills purchasing power and the real economy slows or contracts.

Once the credibility of the exchange rate has been lost, due to excess money injected the country loses the ability to settle both imports and debt repayment by exchanging domestic money for dollars.

The reserves (savings of past years) are used for current imports and debt repayments more money is injected to sterilize the interventions to maintain the policy rate, reserves collected over several years are run down in a few months.

Falling reserves, a depreciating currency then trigger rating downgrades (usually due to so-called exchange rate of as the first line of defence which saw downgrades in 2018 and 2020 in Sri Lanka) and sovereign bond as yields soar, and market access is lost, triggering a default.

As reserves dwindle further due to holding the policy rate with new money, more downgrades follow.

Countries with flexible exchange rates/flexible inflation targeting with market access can default at virtually any level of debt, critics say.

Market Access

Sri Lanka’s debt to GDP ratio shot up over 100 percent and lost almost all its reserves following a currency crisis in 2000/2001.

But at the time (or in earlier soft-peg crises in 1988/89 and earlier) the country did not have market access and bullet repayment debt.

In Sri Lanka bonds are big part of the country’s debt.

“Once you have lost market access there is virtually no level of gross financing needs that is sustainable,” Lanau said.

Analysts say the once market access has been lost, and the IMF declares that debt is unsustainable, which blocks the World Bank and ADB from giving loans, default is almost certain.

Argentina which has the archetypal soft-pegged Latin America central bank, which sterilizes interventions, strikes zeros off the peso at intervals and get into forex trouble.

“The country got into an IMF program in mid-2018, it was a very optimistic set of IMF targets, policy adjustments,” Lanau said.

“And this IMF program did not work and the situation got critical in August 2019 at which point Argentina defaulted.”

In March 2020 the IMF had presented a debt sustainability analysis where it was expected to to get its debt to 40 percent of GDP by 2030 and foreign exchange debt service to 3 percent of GDP, Lanau said, compared to 4.5 percent for Sri Lanka to make debt sustainable.

Ecuador which had a successful pre-emptive debt re-structuring, had debt levels of around 60 percent when it went talked to bond holders.

It was an ‘easy re-structuring, Lanau said.

It was a “lot about a bunch of maturities coming due in very few years as opposed to a very high debt ratio or a situation that was very unsustainable economically.”

Ecuador however is a dollarized country where its central bank effectively died in the 1990s after the sucre collapsed to 25,000 to the US dollar.

The Central Bank of Ecuador is no longer capable of creating forex shortages or driving the people to starvation and external debt is effectively in domestic currency.

Ecuador’s gross financing needs are now down to around mid single digits, while Sri Lanka’s has shot up to around 30 percent of GDP following the currency collapse.

Ecuador central bank was set up by Edwin Kemmerer, a US money doctor, with a gold peg (no obstinate policy rate) but was corrupted in 1947 by Robert Triffin, a US Keynesian who set up Argentina style central banks in several Latin America countries that frequently defaulted from the 1980s.

Sri Lanka’s central bank was also set up in 1950 by a US money doctor with broadly similar sterilizing powers.

Sri Lanka also started to depreciate the currency from around 1980 without withdrawing inflationary policy (an earlier re-incarnation of first line of defence strategy) triggering strikes, social unrest but no sovereign default due to lack of market access.

Sovereign defaults were mostly absent during the Bretton Woods era even in Latin America when countries maintained their pegs more or less with complementary monetary policy and the IMF also supported external anchors.

However after 1980 when the US tightened policy under Chairman Paul Volcker there were widespread defaults in pegged Latin American countries which did not hike rates in tandem or sterilized interventions (resisted the BOP) trying to operate independent monetary policy.

Now there are a number of market access countries in Africa and Asia with reserve collecting central bank which are trying to operate flexible inflation targeting, another monetary policy which are in conflict with the balance of payments which are ripe for serial currency crises and default.

Clean floating central bank do not use foreign reserves for imports nor collects them. (Colombo/Dec27/2022)

Continue Reading