The state-run power distribution companies have also placed their plea demanding retail tariff hike of power amid PDB’s indirect proposal of bulk tariff hike placed a few days earlier. Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has decided to hold public hearing sessions in response to the tariff hike proposals from the state-owned companies starting from 28th November, said a public notice issued by the BERC.
According to the notice, a series of public hearings are to be held at the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) office starting from 28th November to 3rd December of this year. The commission will make the decision on price hike after the hearing.
The public hearing on bulk power tariff proposals of the PDB will be held at 10 am on November 28 and the hearing on the proposal of transmission charge hike of PGCB to be held on the same day starting at 2 pm. On 1st December, there will be 2 hearing sessions as well- at 10 am a hearing session to be held on retail price hike proposal of PDB and at 2 pm another session on NESCO’s proposal on retail price hike of power. On 2nd December, there will be 2 hearing sessions, one of them to start at 10 am on retail price hike proposal of DPDC and at 2 pm another session on DESCO’s proposal on retail price hike of power. A mass hearing on BREB’s proposal on retail price hike to be held at 10 am on 3rd December while the hearing on WZPDCL’s proposal of the retail price hike to be held at 2 pm on the same day.
Earlier, the PDB has submitted a fresh proposal for either subsidizing it or raise the bulk power tariff as it is estimated that PDB is going to have a deficit of budget that stands at a figure of Tk 8,608 crore in the next fiscal year. Following the footsteps of the PDB, the power distribution companies along with the transmission company started to place their pleas for the retail power price and wheeling charge hike. PGCB, in its proposal, said that the government didn’t raise the transmission charge/wheeling charge in the last 4 years although the bulk and retail price were raised for several times within this 4-year span.
On November 23, 2017, BERC increased power tariff of per unit of electricity by Tk 0.35 or 5.3 per cent on average, which came into an effect from December 1, 2017.
It should be noted that every year, the government subsidizes the power sector by a huge margin. In the last fiscal year, the government has subsidized around Tk 9,000 crore at the generation level of the power sector.