State-owned Bangladesh Development Board (BPDB) has submitted its proposal to the energy regulator seeking Tk 1.47 hike per kilowatt hour (each unit) at the retail level, official sources said on Wednesday.
“We sought to raise the retail tariff by 19.44 per cent to Tk 9.03 per unit from the existing Tk 7.56 per unit”, a top official of the BPDB told UNB.
The retail power tariff proposal was placed by the BPDB just the next day after the bulk power tariff was raised.
Official sources said there are a total of six power distribution entities in the country and the Power Division has asked all of them to submit their respective proposals on retail power tariff hikes as early as possible following the announcement of the new bulk power tariff.
On Monday, the BERC raised the bulk power tariff by 19.92 per cent – to Tk 6.20 per kilowatt hour (each unit) from the previous Tk 5.17 – with effect from December 2022 disposing of a review appeal of the BPDB.
Sources said the BPDB submitted the retail power tariff hike proposal to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) on Tuesday afternoon after receiving approval from the Power Division”, said a BPDB official who preferred not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.
He also mentioned that State Minister Nasrul Hamid has seen the BPDB’s retail tariff hike proposal before the submission to the BERC.
However, BERC Chairman Abdul Jalil has said he is yet to see the proposal.
As per the BERC Act 2003, after receiving any proposal from any power distribution entity on tariff adjustment, the BERC will hold a public hearing to listen to the opinion of different stakeholders and then it will announce its decision within 90 days from the conclusion of the hearing procedures.
After the bulk tariff enhancement, Nasrul Hamid has said that right now, the bulk power tariff hike will have no impact on the masses.
He, however, said the government wants to ensure an uninterrupted power supply to consumers. “That’s why power tariff adjustment was needed,” he added that the power distribution entities are preparing their proposals to submit to BERC – seeking a hike in the electricity tariff at the retail level.
“BERC will examine whether it will have any impact on retail consumers in future,” he told reporters.
Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) ASM Shamsul Amal said that the rights group will present its opinion when it comes to a public hearing.