Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the electricity sector regulator, has introduced a guideline to identify information for an installment payment system for those who are not able to pay the connection charge for a new electricity connection, in terms of Section 27 of the Sri Lanka Electricity Act, No. 20 of 2009 as amended.
“Sri Lanka has named year 2017 as the year for eradicating poverty in the country. These guidelines will ensure that any person is able to afford to get an electricity connection,” Damitha Kumarasinghe, Director General of Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka said.
The guideline says those who are eligible can get the new connection on a monthly installment basis, which should not be more than five percent of the declared household income with the maximum deduction being not more than 1,500 rupees and should be recovered over a period of not less than 24 months.
According to the new guideline, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the Lanka Electricity Company Private Limited (LECO) will recover the cost of providing a new connection in reasonable monthly installments along with the tariff and any other charges levied by the distribution licensee as per the standard tariff agreement.
The Divinaguma beneficiaries and households, who get a monthly income, less than 50 percent of the median income of households in Sri Lanka as specified by the Department of Census & Statistics from time to time based on the Household Income & Expenditure Survey (HIES), will be eligible for this criteria where a consumer does not have sufficient means to pay in total at once the expenses incurred by the distribution licensee (CEB or LECO) in providing a supply of electricity.
The median income of Sri Lanka is 30,814 rupees per month according to 2012/2013 HIES report. It can be seen that, fifty percent of the median household income per month is reflective of the average income of the poorest forty percent of households.
In addition, the distribution licensee (CEB or LECO) can also adopt such other criteria fairly and transparently when considering a request from a domestic consumer who does not meet the above criterion. These may include criteria such as pensioners, disabled soldiers, and elderly persons over the age of 55 as well as housing conditions.
The guideline which have been already communicated to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Lanka Electricity Company (LECO) are now in effect. (Colombo Gazette)