Government determines to undertake power sector reforms
In the wake of energy crisis resulting in power cuts triggered by dollar scarcity, Sri Lanka government is now determined to under take power sector reforms as part of economic revival, official sources said.
The power sector’s restructuring, primarily geared toward encouraging more competition and improved regulation, and has brought about wider access to the grid, lower transmission and distribution losses, and a more efficient generation system.
But it was met with limited success in unbundling the power system and in making electricity tariffs cost-based and more efficient.
The Cabinet appointed Committee Report to suggest reforms in the power sector was considered at the subcommittee on identifying the priorities in formulation of short-, medium and long-term National Policies of the National Council.
It has been agreed to introduce power sector reforms as soon as possible considering the urgent need of eliminating bureaucratic bungling, trade union blockades, corruption and waste of the Ceylon electricity Board (CEB).
The need of getting rid of CEB official and trade union mafia which hindered the progress of Sri Lanka power generation has been emphasized at the sub committee meeting. The officials briefed the Committee on the proposed restructuring of the power sector.
A member of the committee appointed by the Cabinet informed the Committee that it has been proposed to establish five independent bodies to ensure and regulate the operation of the Sri Lanka Electricity Board. He said that there is no proposal for the privatization of the Electricity Board in this Committee’s report.
It has been observed that during the CEB restructuring, attention should be focused on simplifying the procedures to be followed by the parties involved in the tasks including electricity generation.
The Subcommittee mentioned that it is hoped to establish a separate body for policy formulation not only in the power sector but also in other sectors and for that purpose.
The relevant legislation required for the said will be proposed to the National Council through the Parliament.
Minister Kanchana Wijesekera emphasized the need for a Secretariat to operate until the restructuring of the power sector is completed.
Furthermore, the Committee pointed out that not only in the power sector, but in every sector, there should be provision to identify who the officers are and who are specifically responsible for the tasks and to remove them if they do not reach the required level of performance.