Addressing a workers conference of the CEB minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka said that it is beyond their control to predict the weather patterns and rainfall. He also said that in addition the fluctuating oil prices and the fluctuating rupee value is another factor that is beyond the control of the CEB, but has a direct impact on the power generation costs.
He further pointed out that at the end of the third quarter in 2012the irrigation and agricultural sectors were facing negative growth rates in the face of the drought. However in spite of the drought the CEB was able to provide uninterrupted electricity supply throughout the day and show positive growth. In 2012 the country’s economic growth rate stood at 8.5%, while toward the latter quarter of the same year it declined to 4.8% in the face of the drought.
Major reservoirs such as the Parakrama Samudraya, and Victoria were almost completely dry due to the severe drought, striking a severe blow to the power generation capability of the CEB, but the CEB withstood even adverse calamities such as that and yet managed to provide electricity, which is highly commendable.
Today people are talking about the losses incurred by the CEB, however at the time when the country had to face the severe drought where three monsoons failed consecutively and there no rains for 15 months at a stretch, then no one spoke of the huge task taken on by the CEB and yet in spite of all that electricity was still provided without interruption.
In the year 2012 alone the CEB has given its consumers Rs. 62 billion in concessions. Rs. 29 billion was granted to the 5 million electricity consumers while Rs. 23 billion was granted to the industrial sector as concessions.
Furnace oil which cost Rs. 26 in 2010, had reached Rs. 90 by the end of 2012.
It was the CEB and the general public that has had to bear the cost of losses due to the oil leak due to poor maintenance of the oil refineries. However it is the red flag bearers that must be held responsible for this situation for staging strike after strike from 1956.
In 1956 the largest port was in Asia was the Colombo port, and the largest oil storage complex was situated in Trincomalee. However unfortunately after the trade union strikes all this was lost. Today only around 4000 to 5000 ships call on the Colombo harbor. Due to our strikes all ships began going to Singapore, and today around 240,000 ships call on the Singapore harbor for their requirements.
Therefore he urged all Sri Lankans to unite and cast aside their personal differences and on the collective development of this country.