Water tariff increase suspended pending revision: Hakeem

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 01:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Dharisha Bastians and 

Chamodi Gunawardane 

The Cabinet of Ministers decided to temporarily suspend a proposal to increase water tariffs by 30% during a weekly meeting yesterday.

The decision was taken on President Maithripala Sirisena’s advice.

The proposed new tariff system will be reviewed by a three-member ministerial committee before a decision is made to implement the proposal that was included in the Government’s 2017 budget plan, Minister of Petroleum Chandima Weerakoddy said during a press briefing yesterday.

Water Supply Minster Rauff Hakeem told Daily FT that the committee will look into a possible reduction of the water tariff since the cabinet unanimously called on a revision. 

The ministerial committee will comprise Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Water Supply and Drainage Rauff Hakeem and Minister for Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama.

“Every three years, water tariffs are revised by the Water Supply and Drainage Board. The last time tariffs were increased was in 2012, so in 2015 they should have been increased. But it wasn’t and it is President Sirisena’s recommendation that water tariffs should not be increased,” Minister Weerakoddy said. 

Minister Hakeem added that a decision would be arrived at as soon as possible.