Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory
Commission (BERC) rejected the proposal of raising the gas
distribution charge at a public hearing session. Titas Gas
Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd., the charge uprising
proposer state-owned company is already in business and making
adequate profits, claimed the TEC after evaluating the financial
TEC estimated that Titas would easily gain an amount of Tk 3,596.35
million revenue in the fiscal year of 2016-17 without uprising the
current distribution charge. However, the committee remarked that
Titas would need an additional 2 paisa hike in distribution charge to
attain its own estimated revenue requirement.
Earlier Titas submitted its proposal to BERC to hike the distribution
charge from 0.2315 to 1.0388 for per cubic meter of gas. BERC has
arranged the public hearing at the TCB Bhaban in Dhaka’s Karwan Bazar
in response to the proposal submitted by Titas to increase the gas
distribution charge. The hearing was headed by AR Khan, the chairman
of BERC with his two fellow members Maqsudul Haque and Rahman Murshed.
Different consumer’s right groups, Experts and trade bodies including
Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), Bangladesh CNG Association
and Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce Industries strongly
opposed the price hike proposal.
Prof Nurul Islam, one of the leading energy expert of this country
said that, the fuel, wood and other resources that used as an
alternative to gas costs nearly 1 thousand Taka per month for
household cooking. Considering this fact, monthly 1,200 Tk bill for a
gas burner would not sound impractical. He then suggested the
businessmen going for the co-generation technology in the
captive-power plants to make their power and cost management more
efficient. He criticized Titas and its public shareholders for being
more focused on only making profits.
Former president of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA)
Muqtadir Ahmed urged to improve the quality of service of the state
owned distribution company. He remarked that, Titas had been
repeatedly failing to maintain minimum needed pressure in the
distribution lines causing huge losses to the textile mill owners.
BERC chairman AR Khan said Titas doesn’t have a need to make profit
necessarily since it’s a state-owned utility service provider. Yet, it
possesses the right to be paid (as a ‘cost of service’) accordingly
only for the services which it provides, he added.
Among others Energy advisor of Consumers Association Bangladesh
Shamsul Alam, CNG owners association chairman Masud Khan, CPB leader
Ruhin Hossain Prince and representatives from different consumer’s
right groups shared their thoughts before the commission.
Another public hearing is going to be organized on 10th august in
response to the proposal of Pashchimanchal Gas Company Limited.