HC questions legality of power tariff hike
The High Court today questioned the legality of the authority's move to raise power tariff at wholesale and retail markets.
The court issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain in four weeks why the order, on November 23 last year, on hiking the power tariff should not be declared illegal.
The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC), its chairman and power secretary have been asked to respond to the rule.
The HC bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice M Ashraful Kamal came up with the rule after hearing a writ petition challenging the legality of the power tariff hike.
Convener of Consumer Association of Bangladesh Architect Mubassher Hossain filed the writ petition on May 23 saying that the energy regulatory commission issued an order about raising power tariff at wholesale and retail markets is a violation of the law.
From September 25 to October 5 last year, BERC held a mass hearing on the tariff of electricity but it did not issue any order on decision of the mass hearing.
According to the BERC Act to 2003, the commission has to issue an order in 90 days on the mass hearing but the commission did not issue any order on the decision of mass hearing, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, the lawyer for the writ petitioner, told The Daily Star.
Much to the chagrin of consumers, rights groups and businesses, the BERC, November 23 last year, raised the power tariff by 5.3 percent or Tk 0.35 per kilowatt-hour unit on an average.
The tariff was hiked to meet the revenue requirement of power distributors.