Heated scenes in Parliament over Govt. move to scrap PUCSL

Thursday, 3 December 2020 00:56 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • SJB MP Harsha de Silva tables letter sent by President’s Sec. to Fin. Min. to initiate steps to shut down regulatory body Public Utilities Commission 
  • Says move is economic dictatorship
  • PM in his Budget speech said PUCSL and CEB Act are to be amended to facilitate rapid implementation of projects

SJB MP Harsha de Silva


There were heated arguments in Parliament yesterday after main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Harsha de Silva alleged that the Government has initiated steps to close the regulatory body Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL).

Rising to a Point of Order, de Silva tabled in the House a letter sent by Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera to Treasury Ministry Secretary S.R. Attygalle, instructing him to take necessary procedural steps to close down PUCSL and consequential steps to absorb the technical staff to the Department of Planning and the Ministry of Power.

“It was the PUCSL which was responsible for decisions pertaining to power and water supply and fixing of tariff. With this decision it is likely that the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) will get the power to decide on electricity tariff. This is nothing but economic dictatorship,” Dr. de Silva added.

Government MPs however shouted down the SJB MP and claimed the document which was tabled by the MP is fake.

In the letter sent by Jayasundera to the Finance, a copy of which was seen by the Daily FT, the President’s Secretary drew attention to the Budget proposal referring to PUCSL and the CEB regarding the required changes to create an efficient work environment to implement the power generation plan which has been lagging behind for some time.

“As tariff and connected regulatory work is within the Government purview, certain provisions in the PUCSL Act could be incorporated in the Consumer Affairs Authority and the CEB Act when PUCSL Act is replaced in due course,” the letter said.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in his Budget Speech last month said the Government proposes to amend the Public Utilities Commission Act and Ceylon Electricity Board Act to allow the rapid implementation of projects.

PUCSL is the economic, technical and safety regulator of the electricity industry in Sri Lanka, the designated regulator for petroleum and water services industries.