Colombo (News1st): It is reported that annual operating expenses of Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) have increased in the past few years. The last time an income and expenditure statement of the CEB was issued was in 2015.
Operating expenses which was limited to Rs. 42 billion has increased to Rs. 47 billion in the years 2017 and 2018. This would mean that the cost for one employee per month would approximately be Rs. 100 000.
The recruitment of 6759 employees full time, who were previously under contract basis, and the salary increments of 25 â€“ 30%, granted every 3 years, has also resulted in this increase. Even with these expenses, many activities that can be carried out by the CEB is being given out on a contract basis to private contractors.
Clearing the tree branches for power lines, installing new meters and the production of electric posts and equipment that are needed when installing power lines are also provided by private contractors.
Although the expenses pertaining to the employees have increased, the workers union of the CEB says authorities have failed at least to provide labourers with gloves and primary equipment that are required for the job.
The General Secretary of the CEB Workers Union Ranjan Jayalal stated that the High Ranking officials of the CEB who are under contract basis are using luxury vehicles purchased at high prices.
It should also be noted that the CEB has had to incur heavy losses due to unfavourable agreements it has reached to purchase power. One reason for these losses, is the fact that, as per the agreements the CEB has to pay certain power plants in Dollars instead of rupees. Due to the depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee against the US Dollar in aÂ short time span, the amount of money that has to be paid to these power plants have increased.
Why is there a need to pay the private power suppliers in Dollars?