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Saturday May 25th, 2024

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)

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  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 to find investors by ‘competitive system’ after revoking plantations privatizations

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will revoke the privatization of plantation companies that do not pay government dictated wages, by cancelling land leases and find new investors under a ‘competitive system’, State Minister for Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has said.

Sri Lanka privatized the ownership of 22 plantations companies in the 1990s through long term leases after initially giving only management to private firms.

Management companies that made profits (mostly those with more rubber) were given the firms under a valuation and those that made losses (mostly ones with more tea) were sold on the stock market.

The privatized firms then made annual lease payments and paid taxes when profits were made.

In 2024 the government decreed a wage hike announced a mandated wage after President Ranil Wickremesinghe made the announcement in the presence of several politicians representing plantations workers.

The land leases of privatized plantations, which do not pay the mandated wages would be cancelled, Minister Siyambalapitiya was quoted as saying at a ceremony in Deraniyagala.

The re-expropriated plantations would be given to new investors through “special transparency”

The new ‘privatization’ will be done in a ‘competitive process’ taking into account export orientation, worker welfare, infrastructure, new technology, Minister Siyambalapitiya said.

It is not clear whether paying government-dictated wages was a clause in the privatization agreement.

Then President J R Jayewardene put constitutional guarantee against expropriation as the original nationalization of foreign and domestic owned companies were blamed for Sri Lanka becoming a backward nation after getting independence with indicators ‘only behind Japan’ according to many commentators.

However, in 2011 a series of companies were expropriation without recourse to judicial review, again delivering a blow to the country’s investment framework.

Ironically plantations that were privatized in the 1990s were in the original wave of nationalizations.

Minister Bandula Gunawardana said the cabinet approval had been given to set up a committee to examine wage and cancel the leases of plantations that were unable to pay the dictated wages.

Related

Sri Lanka state interference in plantation wages escalates into land grab threat

From the time the firms were privatized unions and the companies had bargained through collective agreements, striking in some cases as macro-economists printed money and triggered high inflation.

Under President Gotabaya, mandating wages through gazettes began in January 2020, and the wage bargaining process was put aside.

Sri Lanka’s macro-economists advising President Rajapaksa the printed money and triggered a collapse of the rupee from 184 to 370 to the US dollar from 2020 to 2020 in the course of targeting ‘potential output’ which was taught by the International Monetary Fund.

In 2024, the current central bank governor had allowed the exchange rate to appreciate to 300 to the US dollar, amid deflationary policy, recouping some of the lost wages of plantations workers.

The plantations have not given an official increase to account for what macro-economists did to the unit of account of their wages. With salaries under ‘wages boards’ from the 2020 through gazettes, neither employees not workers have engaged in the traditional wage negotiations.

The threat to re-exproriate plantations is coming as the government is trying to privatize several state enterprises, including SriLankan Airlines.

It is not clear now the impending reversal of plantations privatization will affect the prices of bids by investors for upcoming privatizations.

The firms were privatized to stop monthly transfers from the Treasury to pay salaries under state ownership. (Colombo/May25/2024)

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300 out of 1,200 Sri Lanka central bank staff works on EPF: CB Governor

ECONOMYNEXT – About 300 central bank staff out of 1,200 are employed in the Employees Provident Fund and related work, Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said, with the function due to be transferred to a separate agency after a revamp of its governing law.

“When it comes to the EPF there is an obvious conflict of interest. We are very happy to take that function out,” Governor Weerasinghe told a forum organized by Colombo-based Advocata Institute.

“We have about 300 staff out of 1,200 including contract staff, almost 150 of permanent staff is employed to run this huge operation. I don’t think the central bank should be doing this business,”

The EPF had come under fire in the past over questionable investments in stocks and also bonds.

In addition, the central bank also faced a conflict of interest because it had another agency function to sell bonds for the Treasury at the lowest possible price, not to mention its monetary policy functions.

“There has been a lot of allegations on the management of this fund. This is the biggest fund of the private sector; about 2.6 million active, I think about 10 million accounts.

“When it comes to EPF, obviously there’s another thing. We obviously have, in terms of resources, on the Central Bank, that has a clear conflict because we are responsible for the members.

“We have to give them a, as a custodian of the fund, we have to give them a maximum return for the members.

“For us to get the maximum return, on one hand, we determine the interest rates as multi-policy. On the other hand, we are managing public debt as a, raising funds for the government.

“And on the third hand, this EPF is investing 90 percent in government securities. And also, interest rates we determine, and they want to get the maximum interest. That’s a clear conflict, obviously, there’s no question.”

A separate agency is to be set up, he said.

“It’s up to the government or the members to determine to establish a new institution that has a trust and credibility and confidence of the members that this institution will be able to manage and secure an interest and give them a reasonable return, good return for their lifetime savings,” Governor Weerasinghe said.

“The question is that how whether we have whether we can develop that institution, whether we have the strong institution with accountability and the proper governance for this thing.

“I don’t think it should be given completely to a private sector business to run that. Because one is that here we have no regulatory institution. Pension funds are not a regulated business.

“First one is we need to establish, government should establish a regulatory agency to regulate not only the EPF business fund, there are several other similar funds are not properly regulated.

“Once we have proper regulations like we regulate banks, then we can have a can ensure proper practices are basically adopted by all these institutions.

“Then you can develop an institution that we who can run this and can be taken back by the Labour Department. I’m not sure Labour Department has the capacity to do all these things.”

While some EPF managers had come under scrutiny during the bondscam and for questionable stock investments, in recent years, it had earned better returns under the central bank management than some private funds that underwent debt restructuring according to capital market analysts with knowledge of he matter. (Colombo/May24/2024)

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Desperate Sri Lankans seek risky foreign jobs amid tough IMF reforms

ECONOMYNEXT – After working 11 years in Saudi Arabia as a driver, Sanath returned to Sri Lanka with dreams of starting a transport service company, buoyed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s 2019 presidential victory.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and an unprecedented economic crisis in 2022 shattered his dreams. Once an aspiring entrepreneur, he became a bank defaulter.

Facing hyperinflation, an unbearable cost of living, and his family’s daily struggles, Sanath sought greener pastures again—this time in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“I had to pay 900,000 rupees ($3,000) to secure a driving job here,” Sanath (45), a father of two, told EconomyNext while having a cup of tea and a parotta for dinner near Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi.

Working for a reputed taxi company in the UAE, Sanath’s modest meal cost only 3 UAE dirhams (243 Sri Lankan rupees). Despite a monthly salary of around 3,000 dirhams, he limits his spending to save as much as possible.

Sanath has been in Abu Dhabi for 13 months but had to wait six months before driving a taxi and receiving no salary.

TOUGH REALITIES

“I had to get my UAE driving license. I failed the first trial, and the company paid 6,500 dirhams on my behalf, agreeing to deduct 500 dirhams monthly from my salary,” he explained.

“So far, I have repaid only 3,000 dirhams.”

To raise the 900,000 rupees for the job, Sanath borrowed money from friends and pawned jewelry.

“I don’t know if I was cheated by the agent, but I must repay that money and also send money for my family’s expenses,” he said, glancing at a photograph of his family in a Colombo suburb.

Working night shifts in busy Abu Dhabi, Sanath said, “If I can secure 9,000 dirhams monthly through taxi driving, I will earn 3,000 dirhams in the month after deductions for the license fee and any traffic fines.”

Sanath came to Abu Dhabi with seven other Sri Lankan men through an employment agency in the Northwestern town of Kurunegala.

“Only two of us have withstood the tough traffic rules and payment deductions for offenses,” he said. Some of his colleagues are still job-hunting, while others have returned to Sri Lanka.

Sanath is one of around 700,000 Sri Lankans who have left the island in the last two years due to the economic crisis that forced the country to adopt difficult fiscal and monetary policies, including higher taxes and costly borrowing, exacerbating the cost of living.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE EARNERS

From January 2022 to the end of March 2024, at least 683,118 Sri Lankans migrated for foreign employment through legal channels, according to the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau.

They have sent $11.31 billion in remittances through official banking channels during the same period, central bank data shows.

Many Sri Lankans leave on visit visas, hoping to find jobs later, often guided by friends already working abroad. The economic crisis has pushed them to seek better opportunities abroad, despite the risks.

Sri Lankan authorities struggle to stop such risk-takers, who sometimes resort to illegal migration, despite warnings about human trafficking.

In Myanmar, 56 Sri Lankans caught in an IT job scam were detained earlier this year, and the government is still repatriating them.

At least 16 retired Sri Lankan military personnel have been killed in the Russia-Ukraine war after being misled by unscrupulous recruiters. Officials estimate that over 400 retired military officers may have left for similar reasons.

DISPERATE TO LEAVE

In March, Foreign Minister Ali Sabry warned against visiting any nation on open visas, urging Sri Lankans to emigrate only through registered agencies.

Despite the risks, many Sri Lankans are desperate to leave.

Abu Salim, a 32-year-old former rugby player, came to Dubai on a visit visa hoping for a banking job, which he never got.

Now freelancing in an insurance firm, he said, “I survive, and my relatives don’t see my struggle. It’s stressful, but still better than Sri Lanka right now.”

Suneth, a former top garment merchandiser, is also job-hunting in Sharjah after quitting his initial job in Sharjah.

“My worry is the visa. I must find a new job before it expires,” he said.

Many Sri Lankans in the UAE work multiple jobs, compromising their sleep and health to make ends meet. (Abu Dhabi/May 24/2024)

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