Bangladesh, Oct. 2 -- Authorities are likely to announce a hike in the bulk electricity price any time before October 14 following a proposal from the country's state-run power producer.
Chairman of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) Abdul Jalil said this at a virtual media briefing on the LPG new lower price for the month October on Sunday.
However, any adjustment in bulk power tariff will not directly impact the current retail price of electricity.
Responding to a question, he said as per the BERC Act, there is a provision to announce the decision of the commission within 90 days following a public hearing on power or energy related issues.
The last public hearing on a proposal of the state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to raise the bulk power tariff was held May 18.
During a public hearing the BPDB proposed a raise of 65.57 per cent in bulk power tariff, while a technical evaluation committee (TEC) of BERC recommended a 57.83 per cent hike.
But following the public hearing, the BERC extended its time for the stakeholders by additional days to submit relevant documents to conclude the hearing procedures.
With that additional time, the BERC is now counting 90 days and the stipulated time will expire on October 14, said a BERC member.
The final decision is taken by a 5-member commission after listening to the arguments and counter arguments from the stakeholders on any proposal.
Though an adjustment does not affect retail price electricity, it will definitely have an impact on the power distribution companies which buy electricity in bulk from BPDB to sell it to their retail consumers.
So, if any upward adjustment comes from the regulator, the power distribution companies will then move for raising electricity tariff at retail level which will have a direct impact on the consumers, said an energy expert.
At the public hearing on May 18, consumer civil right groups, including representatives from different business bodies, at the hearing vehemently opposed any big rise in power tariff right now when the people are struggling with high inflation caused by soaring commodity prices.
They termed the proposal an illogical one and said the BPDB can offset its revenue deficit through removing irregularities, corruption and unethical practice in buying electricity from inefficient private power plants at higher rates.
Placing the proposal, the BPDB officials had said the organization will require revenue of Tk 74,189 crore to generate 88,993 million kilowatt hours (units) of electricity to supply to the power distribution companies.
"But if the BPDB sells its electricity at the existing rate of Tk 5.17 per unit, it will have to face a deficit of Tk 30,251 crore in revenue in the calendar year 2022. So, the BPDB needs to raise the power tariff by 65.57 per cent to Tk 8.56 per unit from Tk 5.17", said a BPDB top official at the hearing, adding that this has been calculated without the government's subsidy. Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from United News of Bangladesh. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org