(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – A Cabinet paper to continue the concession given to tourist hotels and residences registered with the Tourism Development Authority for the payment of electricity bills will be presented to the Cabinet today(20).
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said the Cabinet paper has already been referred to the Cabinet Office.
The Cabinet Paper proposes to extend the concession for the payment of electricity bills given to the relevant institutions from 1st March 2020 to 28th February 2021 till the end of this year.
The Cabinet Memorandum also proposes to allow hoteliers and lodgers to pay all arrears of bills in 36 equal installments with effect from January 1 next year.
It is proposed not to disconnect electricity during the concession period and not to charge late fees for accumulated arrears.
It is also proposed to adjust the unit price of electricity for the hotel industry to be similar to other industries in times of high demand, the Minister said.
The Minister said that this Cabinet paper was submitted to extend the relief provided by the government as the tourist arrivals are gradually recovering but have not yet fully recovered.
The economic situation of the service providers related to the tourism sector has not yet fully improved, he added.
The use of electricity was essential to keep the hotels afloat despite the absence of tourists and the government provided relief in view of this situation.
The Cabinet paper was tabled as the government was of the view that the concession should be granted until the tourism industry recovers, Minister of Tourism said.