Colombo, Sept 18 (Newswire) – The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is no longer in a position to extend the relief period granted for consumers to pay the bills during the coronavirus pandemic, Minister of Power Gamini Lokuge revealed yesterday.
He told reporters this was due to the CEB falling into a deepening financial crisis due to the defaulted electricity tariffs, adding that there was a current outstanding amount of nearly Rs. 44 billion due to defaulted bills.
Minister Lokuge said the CEB should receive Rs. 44 million monthly as electricity tariffs and that the tariffs for the last month and this month had not been received so far.
Pointing out that the CEB did not discontinue power supply due to unsettled bills last month, he assured that power supplies will not be disconnected this month as well.
“We did not charge a levy for outstanding bills. The issue is those who can afford to pay the bills have also defaulted them. We will have to face further cirisis, if we extend the relief period by another month. The CEB is in a financial crisis now,” he said.
He urged the public to pay the electricity bills on time.