Sri Lanka committed to supply power: minister

Mar 14, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is committed to keep power flowing through the country at market prices rather than rationing electricity to reduce losses and consumption, a senior minister said. . “The government is committed to a policy of supplying electricity even at a high price, because the cost of having power cuts is greater” power minister John Seneviratne told reporters.

He said in 2001 the government had gone down the path of cutting power, which started with one hour and had then gone onto six hours a day.

No Rationing

“This created an economic crisis,” Seneviratne recalled. “Economic activity collapsed and people’s lives were disrupted. In the end it created a political crisis also.”

At the end of 2001 Sri Lanka’s government collapsed after crossovers and economic growth was negative for the first time since independence.

Seneviratne announced a steep hike in power tariffs from March 15 saying the government was cutting subsidies to industry and religious institutions but would have a lesser increase for householders using less than 90 kiloWatthours of power a month.

“If people use less electricity they can save money and keep the bills at old l