Opposition builds up over electricity tariff hike

electricitymeter       Opposition political parties, trade unions and peoples’ movements are building up pressure against the Sri Lankan government over the proposed electricity tariff hike.

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) said today that the party has planned a programme named People’s Regiment to change the government.

As the first step of the programme, the UNP General Secretary said the party would lead the trade unions and other organizations in the protests against the proposed electricity tariff hike.

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, last month granted approval to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to increase electricity tariffs to cover the losses incurred by the state-owned power generator.

The People’s Movement Against the Increased Electricity Bill (PMAIEB) said discussions are now underway to rally all the forces to raise a powerful voice demanding to revoke the electricity tariff hike.

The Movement also had discussions with the trade unions linked to the government coalition left parties, namely Communist Party, Lanka Sama Samaja Party and Democratic Left Front and they also had extended their support.

General Secretary of the Ceylon Teacher Services Union (CTSU), Mahinda Jayasinghe said that people apart from having to pay the increased electricity tariffs for residenceswould also have to bear the electricity costs of their children’s schools.

According to Jayasinghe, people should not be misled by the government’s false statements of reductions in electricity tariffs and should unite to demand for a withdrawal of the tariff hike.

The Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board W.B. Ganegala has strongly rejected accusations that electricity charges are being increased to cover up wastage.

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