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Public Utilities Commission to be closed?

The Government has decided to take steps to close the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) and absorb its staff to the Ministry of Power and several other institutions, informed sources said.

The Secretary to the President, Dr. P. B. Jayasundare, has informed the Finance Ministry Secretary of the decision in a letter dated December 1.

In the letter, the Secretary to the President said highlighted the Budget Proposal referring to the PUCSL and the Ceylon Electricity Board regarding the required changes to create an efficient work environment to implement the power generation plan which has been lagging for some time.

“In this background, I am advised to instruct you to take necessary procedural steps to close the PUCSL and consequential steps to absorb the technical staff to the Department of National Planning and also deploy such staff to the Ministry of Power and to this office depending on their competencies to serve in respective places on planning and analytical work.

“As tariff and connected regulatory work is within the Government purview, certain relevant provisions in the Public Utility Commission Act could be incorporated in Consumer Affairs Authority and Ceylon Electricity Board Act when Public utility Commission Act is replaced in due course,” the letter by Dr. Jayasundare said.

When contacted, Finance Ministry Secretary S. R. Attygalle said he was not aware of the letter yet. “I was in parliament these days. Maybe I have received it in my mail but I haven’t seen such a letter yet,” he said.