Home / Opinion and Issues/ The important role of the new Power and Energy Secretary: A response

The important role of the new Power and Energy Secretary: A response

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 12 December 2019 01:16


By Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya

Tudor Wijenayake appears to have written the above column, without any deep knowledge, understanding or research on the power sector. 

Every person on the street has an opinion on how to produce electricity. If anybody can design and manage an electric power system, do not struggle to get your children or grandchildren to study engineering, because you can actually do power engineering work yourself. Anybody can run an electric power system!

I only want to point out the factual position on two items, out of many he has got totally wrong. He says: “The CEB is the biggest loss-making organisation in the country, which lost Rs. 30.4 billion in 2018, while billing the customers with the highest electricity charges in South-East Asia.” 

(1) Can CEB make profits? 

Look at the summary in table 1, extracted from the ‘Tariff Decision’ of PUCSL for 2018 (January to June)

So the approved cost of producing and delivering a unit of electricity is Rs. 23.32 as of January 2018. Who says so? PUCSL. 

The income from selling a unit of electricity at PUCSL approved price structure is Rs. 17.26 per unit. Who says so? PUCSL.

Who asks more electricity to be purchased at Rs. 22.50 from solar parks and solar rooftops? PUCSL.

Who asks the electricity so purchased at Rs. 22.50 to be sold at Rs. 17.26 per unit? PUCSL.

When the approved cost is Rs. 23.32 and being told to sell at Rs. 17.26, tell us Wijenayake, tell us, how to make profits. 


(2) Billing the customers with the highest electricity charges in South-East Asia

Wijenayake needs to do some homework, study the electricity price structure all over in South East Asia. He will surely be bewildered by the diversity in pricing and definitions of different customer types. However, I have done my homework, and I did decode the tariffs, and here is the comparison of electricity prices across South and South-east Asia and beyond. So, tell us Wijenayake, tell us. Which country charges the highest price for electricity? Surely your answer will not be one word, such as “Sri Lanka”! I only hope that the new Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy does not read the Daily FT to see the wrong data given by Wijenayake (and goes on repeating it at every seminar she attends). Incidentally, power meaning electricity is a subset of energy. Even a school boy knows that. A Ministry of Power and Energy is equivalent to having a ‘Ministry of Landlines and Telecommunication’! 

Our Secretary to the President, who baptises ministries, has forgotten his O/L science. It should have been plain and simply ‘Ministry of Energy’. That says it all.

Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Research and Development: Is it essential for Sri Lanka?

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Not long ago, on the day of our 71st Independence Day celebrations, the Army for the first time in our history paraded a locally built Multi-Barrel rocket launcher. It was never revealed that the Sri Lanka Army had an R&D wing named Center for Resear

Our heritage is Kandyan law; not Roman Dutch law as Rathana Thero thinks

Thursday, 23 January 2020

There were four bills presented by private members to the Parliament on 8 January (one bill is to be presented) which were already advertised in the gazette. They were to repeal the Kandyan Marriage and Divorce Act No. 44 of 1952; to repeal the Musli

Sri Lanka at tipping point ?

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Let’s accept it, Sri Lanka is in trouble with the economy growing at +2.6%, exports declining for the fifth month in a row to register a marginal +1% growth, tourism declining by -20% and S&P credit rating at B with Negative Outlook, which sure ind

The importance of business incubators for emergence of new businesses

Thursday, 23 January 2020

The new Government is poised to enter an arena in the development of entrepreneurship in the country which most of the developed countries have succeeded at the initial stages as well as in continuous efforts. The appointment of the new chairman and

Columnists More