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Sri Lanka increases electricity prices by more than 800%

Sri Lanka raises its electricity prices by more than 800% and announces a two-week halt to oil sales in response to the country’s energy crisis, after energy ministers were sent to Russia and Qatar to buy cheap oil while domestic oil reserves are nearly depleted.

The company that monopolizes state electricity sales in Sri Lanka is suffering heavy losses. The announced 835% increase in electricity prices for low-income customers further exacerbates the struggle for survival of Sri Lankans who had previously suffered an economic collapse.

The Sri Lanka Electricity Board (CEB) lost 65 billion rupees in the first quarter. This led to a request to raise the electricity price for end users by 835%, as currently those using less than 30 kilowatts of electricity per month pay 54.27 rupees ($0.15) for electricity, which CEB wants to raise to 507.65 rupees ($1.44).

The chairman of the Sri Lanka Public Utilities Commission acknowledged that most consumers in the country cannot be held responsible for such high costs. He proposed a direct subsidy from the Ministry of Finance to reduce electricity costs to less than half the amount requested by the CEB.

In addition, the Sri Lankan government has adopted a two-week fuel sales ban that took effect on Monday (June 27).

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