The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday set September 25 to begin a seven-day public hearing on the proposals made by utilities for further power price hike.
The commission made the decision at its weekly meeting and issued a public notification.
Consumers Association of Bangladesh energy adviser M Shamsul Alam, also an electrical engineer, however, said that they would seek a Supreme Court intervention as the price of electricity should have reduced because lower prices of fuel oils in the international market.
He alleged that the government artificially increased power generation cost by not readjusting diesel and furnace oil prices with the international market.
The government realised more than Tk 21,000 crore in taxes and duties and earned about Tk 21,000 crore in profits from fuel oil market in the past three financial years till 2016-17, according to government data available with the latest budget documents.
The commission chairman and members declined commenting on the matter.
The commission, in a public notification on Wednesday asked individuals, groups and organisations to submit their opinion as well as their interest to participate in the public hearing by September 14.
Citing higher prices of fuel oils and growing dependence on them, the commission already raised the average retail price of electricity by 69.25 per cent, up from Tk 3.76 per kilowatt-hour or unit to Tk 6.33, in eight phases, between March 2010 and September 2015.
The commission also increased the bulk price of electricity by 106.75 per cent, up from Tk 2.37 per unit to Tk 4.90 per unit, in seven phases, between March 2011 and September 2015.
Officials said that the Power Development Board proposed a hike of the price of bulk electricity by 14.78 per cent citing high fuel prices at which the government supplied diesel and furnace oil to the power stations.
The commission would also consider the claims of six power distribution utilities that they were incurring losses due to lower distribution prices than the purchase prices set by the commission in September 2015, they said.
The hearing would begin on September 25 on the power board’s proposal for raising bulk price of electricity by 14.78 per cent.
On the next six days with a four-day interval, the commission would hold the hearing on the proposals made by six power distribution utilities for raising retail prices of electricity by 3-24 per cent to reduce the losses they incurred due to the September 2015 tariff order of the commission, according to their proposals.
The commission would hold the hearing on the power board’s proposal for retail price hike by 3 per cent on September 26, Rural Electrification Board’s proposal for 10.75 per cent hike on September 27, Dhaka Power Distribution Company’s proposal for 6.24 per cent hike on September 28, Dhaka Electric Supply Company’s proposal for 6.34 per cent hike on October 2, West-Zone Power Distribution Company’s proposal for 10.36 per cent hike on October 3 and North-West Zone Power Distribution Company’s proposal for 24 per cent hike on October 4, according to the proposals of the power distribution utilities.
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