Tuesday, 16 July 2019 08:49

Ravi K slams Finance Ministry for not releasing CEB funds

Energy and Business Development Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday criticised the Finance Ministry for not releasing Rs. 81 billion due to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) so it could settle dues to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC).

The Energy Ministry owes Rs. 69 billion to the CPC for purchasing fuel for power generation. Recently, CPC refused to release fuel to thermal power plants, resulting in power cuts in several areas of the country. Speaking to media in Kataragama, Karunanayake said the due amount to CPC could be settled if the Finance Ministry released funds that the Minister insists was allocated to the CEB. “The Finance Ministry is refusing to release funds to the CEB and instead is asking the CEB to obtain a loan to settle dues payable to CPC, which we recognise as an unnecessary expenditure for the State,” he said.

According to Karunanayake, obtaining a loan would increase State expenditure due to interest payments. He charged the Finance Ministry was acting irresponsibly without considering the impact of their decisions.

Meanwhile, Karunanayake assured domestic electricity charges would not be increased under any circumstance. “We will not let these disagreements affect citizens by increasing costs.”

He acknowledged power cuts occurred due to the lapses in power generation and assured he will work to overcome blackouts. “I am aware that certain parts of the country experienced power cuts, but I assure you that will be sorted out within the next six months,” he said.


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