Earlier this year, LIRNEasia provided formal inputs to the public hearing on the electricity tariffs held by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL). None of our recommendations were reflected in the outcome of that process, but we were happy to see subsequent actions by the PUCSL reflecting them. We were also pleased to see some of our ideas reflected in a speech by the Leader of the Opposition. The recent report indicating that the Ceylon Electricity Board has not only eliminated losses, but has shown profits appears to indicate that our predictions were right: d. The cost models that underlie the tariff proposal are based on assumptions of levels of use that may change because of the radical redesign of the tariff structure.
For several years, the Telecom Regulatory Commission has been the biggest contributor to government revenues. It continues to be biggest in 2011, though it has come down considerably in 2011 from the massive yield in 2010, according to the 2012 Fiscal Management Report. In 2010, TRC contributed LKR 13,800 million, 44% of total revenues from government enterprises. In contrast, all the state banks combined contributed LKR 5,315 million, 17% of the total. The Port (26th largest container port in the world) yielded nothing, zero.
Given the interest rate spread that is generally high, it did not take much effort to make money from banks in Sri Lanka. But state banks are state banks. You’d expect them and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority to be highest revenue earners for the government. But nothing can keep up with what the TRC gives the Treasury: It would take 2.3 billion rupees coming from Bank of Ceylon, 1.