The government has approved the draft of the Electricity Act 2017 with the provision of maximum 10 years of imprisonment for sabotage or destruction of any electricity infrastructure.
The approval was given at the regular cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday, reports BSS.
Cabinet Secretary M Shafiul Alam briefed the reporters after the meeting.
He said: “The draft proposed for minimum seven years and maximum 10 years of imprisonment and Tk10 crore fine or both for sabotage in power structures or damage to power stations, sub-stations, power lines, poles and equipment.”
The punishment for stealing electricity will be maximum three years of imprisonment or double of the price of the stolen electricity.
The law also proposed tougher punitive actions for offence or wrongdoing by the employees of the power sector.
"The law proposed that any employee for involvement in any offence will get six months imprisonment and Tk10,000 fine or both," said the cabinet secretary.
Under the draft law, if any employee gives illegal electricity connection, he/she will have to face maximum one year's jail or Tk1 lakh fine or both.
The new electricity law proposed the introduction of independent system operator (ISO) to operate the country's power system in a coordinated manner as well as ensuring better load management.
Shafiul Alam said the new electricity law would replace the original Electricity Act framed in 1910.
“The new law will bar PDB, DESCO and DESA to set up new lines or conduct any public works in their jurisdiction without informing the higher authorities concerned,” he added.