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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Lanka electricity firm seeks 835pc price rise

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Sri Lanka's heavily loss-making state-run electricity monopoly asked for a shocking price rise of over 800 per cent for its poorest customers with the bankrupt nation out of fuel, regulators said. The South Asian nation has been hammered by a foreign exchange crisis, leaving it woefully short of dollars for imports, including fuel to generate electricity and for transport. The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) lost Rs 65 billion ($185 million) in the first quarter and sought an 835 per cent price hike for the heavily-subsided smallest power consumers, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) said. "A majority of the domestic consumers will not be able to afford this type of steep increase," PUCSL chairman Janaka Ratnayake told reporters in Colombo. -- AFP


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