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PDB proposes to increase retail price of power

  • Published at 11:00 pm March 9th, 2017
  • Last updated at 11:00 pm March 9th, 2017
PDB proposes to increase retail price of power
Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB) sent a proposal to Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) on Thursday asking to increase the retail price of electricity by Tk0.98 per unit (kilowatt-hour). The state-owned company has also proposed to raise demand and service charges in accordance with the consumer categories. “We have sent a proposal to adjust the retail power tariff,” a PDB official told the Dhaka Tribune, seeking anonymity. “The proposal states that it is necessary to increase the retail power tariff to Tk7.71 from Tk6.73.” The PDB has urged the BERC to make the proposed rates effective from April 1. There are six power distribution companies in the country, and they all have been incurring huge losses by purchasing electricity from costly rental and quick rental power plants, sources said. “Right now we need to increase the retail tariff by around 3% to cover our deficit of Tk0.40 per unit. If the bulk price is increased, the retail tariff will have to be hiked 14.5%,” the official said. He said the PDB would face Tk700-800 crore worth of losses this year if the retail price was not raised. Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, a BERC member said the final decision on tariff hike would be made after an open meeting and a public hearing on the proposal. PDB is not the only power distribution company who has proposed retail tariff hike recently. In December 2015, four companies submitted their proposals to increase retail power tariff in accordance with a government decision. The Rural Electrification Board of Bangladesh sought a 7.08% raise, West-Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd asked for 10.76% increase, Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd asked for 8.86% increase, and Dhaka Electric Supply Company Ltd (Desco) asked for 8.35% hike for retail tariff. Till date, the BERC has not taken any steps regarding these proposals. The newly formed North West Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd has not yet sent its proposal to the BERC. “We will send it next week,” said Md Zakiul Islam, managing director of the company, on Thursday. Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Consumer Association of Bangladesh’s Energy Adviser Prof Shamsul Alam said the proposals – for bulk power and retail power – are illogical. “The price of furnace oil, fuel for power plants, has been reduced. So the government should decrease the power tariffs,” he added.