Urging the government to cut electricity tariff by at least 50 percent for the poor instead of hiking it, leftist party leaders yesterday suggested that Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) decide on the figure through a public hearing.
Meanwhile, criticising government proposals to hike electricity prices which “will cause prices of daily essentials to go up”, BNP leader Nazrul Islam Khan said the government must be removed to get electricity at cheaper rates, reports UNB.
Addressing a Jatiyatabadi Sramik Dal meeting in the capital's Shahjahanpur, Nazrul, a BNP standing committee member, said, “Everything will get pricier as long as they (Awami League) remain in office while people's lives will keep on losing value.”
Leaders of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) said raising prices would only benefit profiteering rental power plant companies and corrupt bureaucrats, reports our staff correspondent.
Staging a sit-in before BERC where a public hearing on the proposals is ongoing, they also blamed the government's dependence on expensive rental plants for repeated price rises.
CPB President Mujahidul Islam Selim said the Awami League-led government had promised to bring down power tariffs in 2014 and 2015. “Logically, they should be discussing how to lower the tariff, not the other way around.”
“The rental plants that are only feasible for use in emergency situations are being used by the government for over five years while overhauling state-run power plants would have been much more cost effective,” said Ruhin Hossain of CPB.
He said people of the lower income bracket who only use a couple of electric bulbs and a fan should be provided free electricity.
BSD leader Rajekuzzaman Ratan said the Power Development Board (PDB) proposal to hike the power tariff for the poor while sparing the rich defied logic.
PDB had suggested increasing price per unit of electricity (one kilowatt hour) by Tk 1.37 for usage up to 75 units while by only two paisa for usage of over 600 units.