News

CEB reforms including Act amendment ‘non-transparent’

  • Engineers claim stakeholders not consulted 

BY Pamodi Waravita

Ongoing plans to amend the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Act No. 17 of 1969 as amended and the reform of the CEB are taking place in a non-transparent manner in a move to dilute the decision-making power of engineers and senior officers within the CEB, alleged CEB Engineers’ Union President Eng. Saumya Kumarawadu yesterday (18).

“The CEB Act is going to be amended without any consultation with stakeholders or discussions with senior officers. When an Act is amended, there should be a transparent process, with parliamentary debates and a committee to study the existing legal provisions. This is not something that can be done overnight but there are plans to do so. This is so that those who want to bring in corrupt deals could reform the CEB so as to allow people from outside the CEB to fill important positions within it. This is because we engineers and officers in the CEB are refusing to act outside of the existing legal framework concerning certain deals,” Eng. Kumarawadu told The Morning yesterday.

He claimed that there is a plan to create a “Group General Manager (GM)” position to be filled by an individual from outside the CEB.

“The current GM position and all other Additional GM (AGM) positions are filled by officers who climb up the ladder within the CEB, with years of experience and knowledge,” said Eng. Kumarawadu.

In June this year, The Morning reported that the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) was opposed to certain amendments proposed to the CEB Act as they would be detrimental to the stakeholders of the industry. At the time, top officials at the Power Ministry told The Morning that no concrete decisions have been taken with regard to amending the said Act.

The Morning’s attempts to contact Power Minister Gamini Lokuge, Power Ministry Secretary Wasantha Perera, CEB Chairman M.M.C. Ferdinando, CEB GM Eng. M.R. Ranatunga, and CEB Employees’ Union Convener Ranjan Jayalal regarding the matter proved futile.