The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) will on Monday announce its decision on the review appeal by the Bangladesh Electricity Development Board (BPDB) to increase the wholesale electricity tariff, it said. an official press release on Sunday.
But consumer rights campaigners are against any further increases.
The BPDB filed the review appeal with the BERC on Nov. 14 within 30 working days after the regulator rejected its proposal on Oct. 13.
Before submitting the proposal, the BPDB received a nod from the highest political level of government, the BERC press release said.
Minister of State for Electricity, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid also approved the review appeal.
On October 13, the BERC rejected the BPDB’s proposal to increase the bulk electricity tariff, saying the aggrieved party can submit an appeal proposal to review the regulator’s decision within 30 working days.
However, the BERC will announce the decision without further public hearing on the matter.
The Vice President of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), ASM Shamsul Alam, called the BERC decision without a public hearing an arbitrary act and a violation of the BERC law.
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“When people get tired of load shedding and overpriced necessities, such a move by BERC will be a blow to the public,” he told UNB.
Electricity division officials said the government had come under enormous pressure to raise electricity tariffs to reduce subsidies in the electricity sector in line with International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions. , which promised to grant a loan of 4.5 billion dollars to Bangladesh as part of the management of the crisis. Support.
Earlier, during decision-making rejecting BPDB’s proposal on October 13, BERC Chairman Abdul Jalil said that some of the private companies that purchase power from BPDB did not submit their data from transactions.
“There was an ambiguity in the data. That is why we have not analyzed the impact of a possible increase in wholesale tariffs on consumers,” he told reporters.
The current socio-economic and power supply situation were taken into consideration when making the BERC’s decision, he noted.
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As a result, the electricity tariff remains unchanged in accordance with the previous tariff announced in February 2020.
The last public hearing on a proposal by state-owned BPDB to increase the wholesale electricity tariff took place on May 18.
The BPDB proposed to increase electricity tariffs by 65.57% during the public hearing, while a BERC technical evaluation committee recommended an increase of 57.83%.
The BPDB, in its last review appeal proposal, mentioned that its actual supply cost is Tk 8.96 per unit instead of the previously calculated tariff of Tk 8.16 per unit.
In presenting the proposal, BPDB officials had said that the organization would need Tk 74,189 crore in revenue to generate 88,993 million kilowatt hours (units) of electricity to be supplied to power distribution companies.
Meanwhile, distribution companies are preparing to submit their respective proposals to raise retail electricity tariffs as well, official sources said.
Nasrul Hamid also said that the distribution entities are preparing their proposals to submit to the energy regulator for a substantial increase in the electricity tariff at the retail level.
“Electric distribution companies are now working on preparing their proposals… They are calculating the possible impact on any increase in the wholesale rate,” he told UNB.
BPDB officials hope that BERC will raise the wholesale tariff by at least 20%,” a senior BPDB official said, adding that given a possible 20% hike, BPDB is looking to increase by at least 12% the retail electricity tariff. .
The retail electricity tariff was last raised in March 2020 by the BERC after a public hearing was held.
Through an announcement, the BERC had increased the electricity tariff by a weighted average of 5.3% at the retail level and 8.4% at the wholesale level with effect from March 1, 2020.
In accordance with this decision, the retail electricity tariff increased from Tk 6.77 to Tk 7.13 per unit (each kilowatt hour) and from Tk 4.77 to Tk 5.17 at the wholesale level.