All industrial products could go up in price as a result of the electricity tariff hike, business chambers warned yesterday.
The Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) said the ceramic industry would be affected by this move.
CNCI CEO Kumar Kandalama told Daily Mirror that the ceramic industry would have to bear the brunt of the power tariff increase more than others as it was a bulk user of electricity.
However Mr. Kandalama expressed the hope that the authorities would reduce the increments announced yesterday.
He said the CNCI had had several discussions with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and had even organised an open forum so that its members could have a discussion with PUC officials. “In such a situation we were hoping that the PUC would give us a hearing since we are the foremost business chamber in the country,” he said. He said the PUC had been flexible to some extent and had not increased the tariffs by the originally planned amounts.
Meanwhile, the Batticloa District Chamber of Commerce CEO K. Kugadas said even the price of rice could go up as mill owners would be compelled to increase their charges to maintain their profit margins.
He said the case would be the same with dairy products as the machinery used in this industry also ran on electricity.
Besides, Mr. Kugadas said, the electricity price hike would create a problem which would be peculiar to the industrialists of the area. This he said was because they had not been included in the industrial category but considered as individuals. “The industrialists are considered as individuals because they are small timers,” he said. He said they would be charged at the rate usually charged from domestic electricity consumers. (Yohan Perera)