The Power and Energy Minister, Kanchana Wijesekera, announced yesterday that the Petroleum Corporation has successfully repaid all loans owed to the Bank of Ceylon and the People’s Bank. This achievement has significantly bolstered the corporation’s financial standing, marking a milestone in its restructuring process.
Minister Wijesekera highlighted the ongoing restructuring efforts of the Petroleum Corporation and mentioned that the revised draft for the restructuring of the Electricity Board has been forwarded to legislators. Once received, it will be submitted to the Attorney General and subsequently presented to the Cabinet for recommendations. In this regard, there is a possibility of passing a new act to facilitate the restructuring process.
During a media briefing held at the Presidential Media Centre under the theme of “Collective Path to a Stable Country,” Minister Wijesekera addressed concerns related to the recent electricity price revision. He emphasized that the government provided substantial relief to 3.5 million out of the total 6 million consumers, resulting in a 55% reduction in electricity prices for them. The revision also included concessions for religious establishments and industries. Furthermore, the minister highlighted the favorable environment created for the initiation of new renewable electricity projects.
Regarding fuel supply, Minister Wijesekera announced that the first fuel shipment from one of the two newly contracted companies will arrive in Sri Lanka by the end of the current month. This marks the beginning of fuel distribution operations by the new suppliers. He expressed confidence in the government’s program, led by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, to promote financial stability in both the Electricity Board and the Petroleum Corporation. These entities have experienced financial crises in the past but are now on a path towards achieving stability.
The minister also provided updates on various initiatives, including the resumption of maintenance work by the electricity board, fulfillment of new connection applications, and the imposition of a fuel tax to address outstanding debts. Additionally, he discussed the cancellation of a tender call for renewable energy and the granting of permissions to the ‘Adani’ company for the construction of a renewable energy power plant.
Minister Wijesekera emphasized the importance of restructuring these institutions to ensure their long-term stability and efficiency. He addressed concerns regarding potential loss of trade union privileges and reiterated the government’s commitment to providing salary increments and bonuses based on productivity and profitability. The minister also mentioned plans for solar panel installations in government institutions and religious sites, as well as the exploration of nuclear energy options for the country’s future energy generation plan.