Whilst stating that authority of revising electricity tariffs is vested with the Power and Energy Minister and the Cabinet, President Ranil Wickremesinghe today requested Parliament to decide whether an inquiry should be conducted against the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL).
Speaking in Parliament, the President said there was a conflict of interest when it came to PUCSL.
“The Chairman of PUCSL owns the leading real estate group Trillium Ltd. There are a number of companies under this group namely Trillium Havelock Residencies, and Trillium Negombo Villas. I would have gone against the tariff hike if I owned real estate companies. I have received many compliments against the PUCSL. It is Parliament which has the authority to take action against him. Therefore I request the House to debate it and come to a decision,” the Present said.
“Authority of revising electricity tariffs is vested with the Power and Energy Minister and the Cabinet as per the Public Utilities Bill and the Electricity Act. No one likes to increase power tariffs but we have to do it. We have to make unpopular decisions for the sake of the country. Sri Lanka is in a crisis today as a result of our failure to make unpopular decisions. We have to find Rs 400 billion to save the Electricity Board” he added.
The President also sought the assistance of the House to save the local banking network.
“Banks won’t survive if they can’t acquire the assets of debtors who have defaulted. We need the assistance of the Public Finance Committee for this purpose,” he said.
The President said he would make arrangements for the MPs who are members of the Executive Council to meet officials of the IMF, ADB and World Bank and discuss Sri Lanka’s economic crisis