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Speakers: Hike in power tariff to cut GDP by 1%

  • Published at 10:33 pm December 21st, 2019
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There will be a negative impact on economic growth if electricity tariff is increased, they said

Speakers at a seminar have expressed possibility of negative impact on economic growth if electricity tariff is increased. 

“If the power tariff is hiked, there is immense possibility that the GDP growth will decline by 1%,” said Mohiuddin Ahmed, President of Bangladesh Mobile Phone Consumers Association (BMPCA), reports UNB.

He made the statement on Saturday while presenting a survey report at the program titled Power Tariff Hike Proposal: Ground Reality, organized by the BMPCA at the Bangladesh Shishu Kalyan Parishad auditorium in Dhaka.

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) leader Ruhin Hossain Prince, Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) leader Razequzzaman Ratan, Gano Samhati Andolon convenor Zonayed Saki, and FBCCI leader Abdul Haque also spoke on the occasion.

Mentioning that common people have been facing serious troubles due to unbearable hike in prices of some essential commodities like onion and rice, Mohiuddin Ahmed said: “The household expenditure of a family has gone up threefold due to inflationary pressure. 

“Any hike in the electricity tariff will further escalate the pressure.”

The BMPCA president said their organization will submit its survey report, and a copy of the mass signature campaign to Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Berc) which held a public hearing on power tariff hike proposals earlier this month.

Ruhin Hossain Prince said it is possible to reduce the power tariff instead of any increase if its misuse is checked by the government.

 “The price of LPG is still high in Bangladesh although it has gone down in the global market,” he added. 

Ruhin alleged that Berc has been working to serve government’s interest instead of that of common people. “Berc will lose its credibility if it doesn’t pull out from the ongoing move to raise the electricity tariff,” Ruhin said.

Razequzzaman Ratan said the ultimate motive of the government is to plunder people’s wealth through raising the power tariff.

“If the electricity tariff is hiked, it will further push up the production cost in the industrial sector which will have multiple effects on the public life,” he furthered.

Zonayed Saki said the government wants to give more benefits to owners of quick rental power plants. “That’s why they moved to raise the electricity tariff,” he said