Sri Lanka rulers only paid Rs2000 for power: former minister

Apr 20, 2013 (LBO) – Ministers in Sri Lanka paid only 2,000 rupees for power a month regardless of the volume of use, former foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera told reporters in a shock revelation. “I am aware of the situation, as I myself paid only 2000 rupees when I was a minister,” he was quoted as saying in Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror newspaper.

He said ministers consumed large amounts of power and had floodlit gardens.

In contrast, a consumer using 91 units will have to pay 2,226 rupees from this month. It is not known how much minister will now pay for power.

Arbitrary

In Sri Lanka energy prices are not cost based but rulers adjust prices on an ad hoc basis usually after driving the country into balance of payments crises after taking bank credit to subsidize energy.

Samaraweera himself in 2004 helped scrap a monthly fuel price formula for petrol and diesel and gave the pricing power back to rulers, supporting claims by Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, an opposition Marxist party, that the formula was ‘plug’.

In 2004 after the formula was scrapped the rupee fell from mid 1990s to 105 to the US dollar as money was printed to subsidize oil, until a t