Sri Lanka villager puts big business, grid power consumers to shame

Apr 07, 2013 (LBO) – Off-grid power users, who generate their own electricity in villages too remote for the national grid to reach, put rent-seeking big business and grid-connected householders to shame at a public hearing on a proposed tariff hike. Speaker after speaker, representing big business low user domestic customers and the renewable energy lobby pleaded for subsidies.

Rent Seeking

Industries claimed they deserved special treatment especially because they exported to foreign customers (in rich countries) and that manufactured exports was somehow more important than other businesses.

Some unsustainable domestic businesses which are under import duty protection and are already a burden to the poorest in society are also getting subsidies.

Hotels which also cater to globe-trotting holiday makers in high income countries and is experiencing a boom not seen in 30-years said a decision by the elected rulers to made it a ‘thrust industry’ made them deserve subsidies.

The software and BPO industry, which also serves foreign big business but does not receive a subsidy, said they needed subsidies because their working hours at the night peak (when the cost of generation was the highest) and they got hit with peak char