Power Development Board (PDB) and West Zone Power Distribution Company (WZPDC) today proposed increasing electricity tariff by 15.50 percent and 8.59 percent respectively to help them cut growing losses.
In reply, the technical committee of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Berc) said the regulator might consider increasing the retail tariff by 6.66 percent on average for PDB customers and 7.51 percent for WZPDC customers.
But consumer rights groups and a number of left-leaning political parties outright rejected the power hike process during a public hearing at the Berc in the capital.
The final decision on increasing the power tariff could come later this month.
There will be public hearing on the proposal of Dhaka Power Distribution Company and Dhaka Electric Supply Company tomorrow and that of Rural Electrification Board on Thursday.
In September 2012, the Berc last increased the retail power tariff -- the rate the distributors charge end-users -- by 15 percent to Tk 5.75 per unit amid opposition from consumers and rights groups.
This was the fifth increase in retail power tariff since the last Awami League government assumed office in 2009. Since February 2011, the commission has raised retail tariff by 43.75 percent to Tk 5.75 a unit from Tk 4 a unit.
The government has already given a nod to the energy ministry's move to increase the price for cutting subsidies.