Reserve Power

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to extend a deadline on its US$ 30 mn loan to the power sector by six months, even as unions relent on a new reform plan. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to extend a deadline on its US$ 30 mn loan to the power sector by six months, even as unions relent on a new reform plan.

Efforts to split up loss making state utility the Ceylon Electricity Board into independent units of generation, distribution and transmission were staunchly opposed by trade unions.

Unions, fearing privatisation through setting up limited liability companies as earlier planned, threatened all out supply disruptions if reforms went ahead.

Shelving the restructuring also held up US$ 60 mn in donor funds from the ADB and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), which lapsed in end June.

“The ADB has agreed to extend the US$ 30 mn loan for a period of half a year,” a local ADB official said.

A deadlock between the government and unions finally gave way on Wednesday with a final report by a sector taskforce, that included trade unions representatives, submitted to Power and Energy Minister Susil Premajayantha.