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Public hearing on bulk power tariff reduction Thursday

Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) will hold a public hearing on Thursday on a proposal placed by the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) to reduce the bulk power tariff.

This is for the first time that the energy watchdog is entertaining such a proposal from the consumer rights group for public hearing.

CAB has proposed reducing the bulk tariff price by Tk 1.32 per unit taking different measures and implementing the previous BERC order to ensure the purchase of least cost electricity by Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).

Earlier, the BERC started public hearings on September 25 by entertaining a proposal of state-owned PDB to raise the power tariff by 22.24 percent or Tk 1.09 per unit at the bulk level.

Currently, the bulk tariff of per unit electricity is Tk 4.90. The PDB wants it to be refixed at Tk 5.99.

A technical evaluation committee of the regulator, which thoroughly examined the BPDB proposal, found gross inconsistency in the BPDB`s accounting statements and recommended a rise by only 11.78 percent to Tk 5.41 per unit.

The CAB and other consumers groups strongly opposed the PDB’s proposal and placed their counter proposal to reduce the tariff by Tk 1.32 per unit.

Against this backdrop, BERC Chairman Monowar Islam accepted the proposal and issued an order to hold a public hearing on it.

However, the energy regulator, headed by its chairman, will take the final decision on the tariff hike proposal within 90 days on conclusion of the current series of hearings.

In the CAB proposal, submitted by its advisor Prof M Shamsul Alam, it was shown that the PDB could easily save about Tk 6661 crore by taking some measures.   

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