State Minister for Power Nasrul Hamid yesterday told parliament that the government took six steps to correct the inflated electricity bills and collect electricity bills in arrears.
He came up with the information in reply to a query from ruling Awami League MP from Chattogram-3 Mahfuzur Rahman during a question-answer session.
In a scripted answer, Nasrul said the government had declared a nationwide shutdown from March 26 to May 30 to prevent the spread of coronavirus transmission in the country.
Considering the situation, people were allowed to pay their bills for the months of February, March, April, and May by June 30 without any surcharge.
As a result, most of the customers have not paid their bills, which has created a huge amount of arrears.
The state minister said the steps taken to collect the dues include not to accumulate the units for several months and charge more units at a time, to prepare the bills on a monthly basis, not to take more tariff by billing more units at once, correcting incorrect or excessive bills immediately, to prepare the bill for the month of May (which is being done in June) by taking meter readings and to create the scope for paying the bills from home through mobile, bKash, G-PAY, RobiCash, and other online services.
During a discussion organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue on the power sector on Wednesday, Nasrul said the distribution companies mistakenly inflated bills for about 5 lakh customers while preparing an average monthly charge as officials could not go from door to door amid the coronavirus pandemic.