President Mahinda Rajapaksa said at the SLFP May Day rally at Campbell Park, Borella last afternoon that he had heeded requests from many quarters to reduce the burden of the recent electricity price hike. He said a considerable tariff reduction would be given to those who used less than 180 units of electricity a month.
There will also be no tariff increase at all for those who use 60 units or less per month. Also, when the monthly electricity bill is computed there will be relief for five units in excess of any particular block. This means that, if a consumer uses 95 units, the last five units will also be charged at the unit rate of the preceding block (that is 61 to 90 units) and not by at the rate charged for a unit in the block comprising 91 to 120 units.
President Rajapaksa he had listened to the opinions of the public, government members including ministers, trade unions and private and public sector employees regarding the tariff increase.
“They not only requested some relief but pointed out that there would be a big increase in the monthly electricity bill when they used a few units in excess of the last block they would be charged for all the units at the rate applied to the higher block,” he said.
He said that while they enjoyed the relief given to them, the consumers should be determined to use electricity sparingly.”
“I have participated May Day rallies for several decades as a student, a youth, a trade union leader, a Member of Parliament (both in the ruling party and the Opposition), as a minister holding the Labour portfolio and other portfolios, as Opposition leader, as prime minister and, finally, as the President of the country. But I have never before seen such a flood of supporters at a May Day rally as I have today,” he said.
Mr. Rajapaksa said that all Sri Lankans, including the working class, had the opportunity today to celebrate May Day without fear or hesitation, as the separatist terrorist movement had been eradicated from Sri Lanka for ever. He said he wished that the working class of other countries may also get this freedom and courage to hold their May Day rallies like the Sri Lankans. (SAJ)