Political partners of the ruling Awami League have criticised the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) decision to raise the price of retail electricity Tk0.35 per unit, or by 5.3% on a weighted average.
Leaders of the Awami League led 14-party alliance said it was unwise for the government to approve such a hike in electricity prices ahead of the 11th parliamentary elections slated for 2019.
Bangladesh Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon, also the Tourism and Civil Aviation minister, said: “Raising the price of electricity is not a wise decision ahead of the next general elections. The government should reconsider its decision in this regard immediately.”
Dilip Barua, general secretary of the Samyabadi Dal and also former industries minister said: “It’s an absolutely a wrong decision of the government ahead of the next parliamentary polls.”
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The former minister added that the decision to raise electricity prices was particularly unwise as the people of Bangladesh had already been facing hardship in recent months due to rising prices of essentials.
Tariqat Federation Joint Secretary Syed Tayabul Bashar Maizbhandari said: “The government should reconsider the decision to raise electricity prices for the sake of votes.”
Factional chief of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal Sharif Nurul Ambia also said the government should reconsider the decision on power tariffs as the people of the country would become unhappy with such a decision.
“Of course we will discuss the issue in our party forum,” he added.
On Thursday, BERC Chairman Monowar Islam disclosed the new price for electricity at a press conference at the BERC office in Dhaka’s Karwan Bazar.
The Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (REB) currently supplies power to homes, irrigation pumps and charitable organisations, which make up 92% of all its consumers, at Tk4.62 per unit though the cost of that power is Tk6.78.