Rs.101bn for state losers!
The Treasury had granted a whopping Rs. 101 billion in terms of loans, grants and subsidies for 25 loss making government ventures last year, a report said.
According to a report released to Parliament, the Ceylon Electricity Board had received the highest financial assistance of Rs. 25 billion from the Treasury.
Besides, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (Rs.22 billion), the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (Rs.11 billion), the Colombo Commercial Fertilizer Company and Mihin Lanka were among the other loss making institutions that received financial assistance from the Treasury to carry out their operations.
There were 52 government institutions that incurred huge losses for the last year.
Govt. institutions owe CEB Rs. 8.5 bn: Champika
A whopping Rs. 8.5 billion is due to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) from various institutions including the Army and the Navy, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said in Parliament yesterday.
The Minister made this disclosure in response to a question by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake. Mr. Ranawaka said that Rs.989 million is due from trade debtors and Rs. 7.5 billion from street lighting debtors.
The Sri Lanka Navy alone has to settle electricity bills running to the tune of Rs.110 million, the National Paper Corporation in Embilipitiya Rs.102 million and the National Paper Corporation in Valachchenai Rs. 81 million.
Besides, the Menik Farm Relief Village in Chettikulam has to pay Rs.17 million, the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital Rs. 19 million, the Army Headquarters in Palaly Rs. 19 million and the Jaffna Teaching Hospital Rs. 42 million.
Also, the Minister said that the CEB is indebted Rs. 51 million to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, and the Treasury has agreed to settle it.
“Then, we can write it off from our accounts,” he said.
Raising a supplementary question, Mr. Karunanayake asked whether the CEB had been unable to reduce electricity tariffs because of conditions laid down by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Minister replied that there had been no such condition laid down by the IMF for the CEB.
Asked about the main reason for the high electricity cost, he said that the opting for thermal power since 1995 was the main reason.
The UNP MP, then, asked whether it means the power and energy policy of the UNP which governed the country prior to 1995 was very effective.
The Minister replied, “I do not want to discuss politics here. But, I have to give you a reply. The unaffordable investments made in the Mahaweli project increased the electricity cost by 13 times. This is the reality.
The UNP did not take action though economic consequences of depending on hydro power for long were raised in 1980s.”
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