The Sunday Leader

CEB Tariff: Give More Relief To Middle Class

As far as I know, places of worship have enough people who worship to pay their electricity bills. Going by the number of buildings/sizes and A/C comforts etc. in these religious places, I don’t think it is necessary to give them relief at all – for temples with one small one story building may need relief but not the affluent temples. In my temple, we, people of the area pay the CEB Bill.
When we take the daily morning ‘daana’ called ‘salake daane’ (which is offered on a daily basis by houses in the area as pre-arranged by the Dayaka Sabawa, the daane giver offers Rs 200 or more to the CEB bill payment – this collection settles the bill.
My wife and myself  (two persons only) use one 21 inch TV for about 12 hours, one ceiling fan for 18 hours, and two 75-watt bulbs in the sitting room and TV room for about five hours.
In addition kitchen tube light for one-hour daily and iron for 10 minutes a day.  This miserly usage with the greatest effort keeps my bill to 85 – 100 units per month.  Washing machine is used only once a week, that too only for bed sheets and heavy items. No porch light/out side lights are used. We have Water Board tap water. In comparison, my neighbours having children and who pump water from the deep wells, control their bills below 160-180 units
Only the poor people and middle class are really affected by the present electricity tariffs.  The current and the proposed mode of calculations are very unfair.  As an example a small calculation is given below for 181 units. 181U is taken as the best average for a middle class house of six people, including the grand parents, having two fans, TV and water pump.
Current tariff: 9 – 180U Rs 16; 181-600U Rs 23 and above 600U Rs 30 with fixed charge of Rs. 200 to 240. Proposed CEB tariff: 9 -120U Rs 23.50, 121-150U Rs 28.60 and 151-180U Rs 32.50 with a fixed charge of Rs 300
My reasonable proposal: Up to 180 units – and beyond 180 raise the tariff, taxing the heavy end users rather than the middle class users: 0-30U Rs 3, 31-60 Rs 5, 61-90U Rs 8, 91-120U Rs 10, 121-150U Rs 15, 151-180U Rs 20. 181-210 Rs 30 with fixed charge Rs 200 from 60-180U.
This is in keeping with Mahinda Chintanaya, which is to help the poor and middle class.
After all why should the poor people pay for the rich people’s use of several A/Cs and swimming pool water pumping, hot water systems, super washing machines, home spas etc. Like our historical Saradiel, ‘rob’ the rich and give to the poor – that is what everybody wants.
High end users will not object, as they have their aristocratic ways (‘who cares’ attitude) and means to pay without looking at the number of units.
Charles Silva
Kirulapone

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