Huge power tariff hike proposed in Bangladesh

DHAKA, BANGLADESH - Bangladesh's Power Development Board (PDB) proposed the country's Energy Regulatory Commission to allow the state-run body for around 24 percent hike in power tariff at the retail level.

At an open meeting, PDB officials made the proposal of the fresh tariff of power in different slabs, saying that to bail the organization out of financial crunch, it needed to increase the tariff soon.

Receiving the proposal, acting chairman of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission Mukhlesur Rahman said the commission will conduct a public hearing on the issue on October 6.

In its proposal, PDB said the state-run organization needs to enhance power tariff as it is incurring a loss of 14.

43 percent per unit of electricity supplied to the consumers due to the official system loss of the agency.

However, a group of consumers who attended the meeting opposed the proposal, showing the logic that enhancement of power tariff will have adverse impact on the pace of industrialization in the country as the small scale factories are feeling the pinch of global economic downturn.

Taking part in the discussion, M. Shamsul Alam of Consumers' Association of Bangladesh said power tariff hike could not mitigate the financial problem of the agency if it does not take any measure to reduce its system loss.

The Bangladeshi government in September last year increased electricity tariffs at bulk level by 16 percent on average for distributing agencies.

The new tariffs, which came into effect on October 1, 2008, has been applicable for the power-distributing agencies who buy electricity from PDB and sell to the consumers in their respective command areas.

Following the rise in bulk tariffs, the distributing agencies who buy power from PDB appealed for raising their tariffs at the retail level.


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