Sri Lanka Electricity Act No. 9 of 2009 provides regulations for the generation, transmission, distribution, supply and use of electricity in the country. A bill proposing amendments to the Sri Lanka Electricity Act was tabled in parliament 17th of May and taken to debate and vote on the 9th June.
Note: An amendment to the act was already passed in parliament in 2013 as well - Sri Lanka Electricity (Amendment) Act. No. 31 of 2013
Prior to the amendment only (a) the Ceylon electricity board, (b) a local authority or (c) a company which government holds the majority share were eligible to apply for the issue of power generation license to generate electricity over 25 MW.
Only companies that government hold more than fifty percentage of the stakes allowed to participate for the bidding process for the the generation of the electricity.
The bill that was passed on Thursday (9th) proposed to take away these restrictions and allowed anyone to be eligible to apply for the license to generate electricity over 25 MW and anyone to participate for the bidding.
Further, the Electricity Act, gives power to the Ceylon Electricity Board to call for tenders to develop new generation plants or to expand the generation capacity of existing generation plants. However, the Act provides a provision to exemption from following these tender procedures.
When the bill was taken up for the second reading it received 120 votes in support of the bill and 36 votes against and 13 people abstaining.
At the committee stage of the bill Opposition MP Harsha de Silva proposed an amendment to the bill to exclude the provisions of exempting tender procedures for the renewable energy projects above capacity of 10 MW. A vote was called for this amendment and 51 MPs voted in support of the amendment 115 people voted against the amendment.
This Infographic gives the breakdown of people who voted for and against the proposed amendment of MP Harsha de Silva.