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BERC set to hold public hearing on power price hike in July

  • Published at 11:10 am June 24th, 2017
BERC set to hold public hearing on power price hike in July
Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) is scheduled to hold a public hearing at the end of July to announce new rates for bulk and retail electricity. The hearing will be held at the TCB Bhaban in the city’s Karwan Bazar. A BERC official, wishing not to be named, said: “All companies and agencies from the power sector have already submitted their proposals to BERC on electricity price hike. The hearing may continue for five days and the new price may come into effect from October this year.” The gas price hike, which has already been made for twice in this year, has pushed up the necessity for holding the public hearing for electricity price, officials said. On February 25, the state-owned Power Development Board (PDB) has sent a proposal to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission to raise the power tariff at bulk level by Tk0.72 per unit. PDB’s proposal says it is necessary to raise power tariff to Tk5.59 from Tk4.87 in the current fiscal year to bridge the loss gap. On March 9, Bangladesh Power Development Board also sent a proposal to the Regulatory Commission asking to increase the retail price of electricity by Tk0.98 per unit (kilowatt-hour). The proposal states that it is necessary to increase the retail power tariff to Tk7.71 from Tk6.73. The state-owned company has also proposed to raise demand and service charges in accordance with the consumer categories. Besides, the Rural Electrification Board of Bangladesh sought a 7.08% raise, West-Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd asked for 10.76% increase, Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd asked for 8.86% increase, North West Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd wanted 11% increase, and Dhaka Electric Supply Company Ltd asked for 8.35% hike in retail tariff. But the BERC has not taken any steps regarding these proposals. The power distribution companies, however, have incurred huge losses from purchasing electricity from costly rental and quick rental power plants. “I do not find any reason behind raising the existing power price. The price of furnace oil, the primary fuel for power plants, has been reduced. Now, the fuel price is very low in the international market. So the government should decrease the fuel price.” Prof Samsul Alam, adviser of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh, told the Dhaka Tribune. “I think power price will be reduced. So it will not be necessary to hike the price,” he added.
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