Verdict tomorrow whether electricity prices would go up
Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) is set to announce the verdict tomorrow of the review appeal of the Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB) to hike the bulk electricity price.
The verdict will be announced at noon tomorrow, BERC said in a press release.
The appeal, which was filed on November 14, comes after BERC on October 13 rejected the state-owned company's proposal to raise bulk tariff by 65.57 percent and gave 30 working days to appeal against the decision.
"The information provided by the PDB was inadequate and that's why we couldn't analyse the real situation. If we hiked the price [based] on the [incomplete data], it would be wrong and would only bring chaos," said BERC Chairman Abdul Jalil while announcing the verdict on October 13.
For instance, the original proposal did not have the transaction data of some of the private power plants that buy power from PDB.
Bulk electricity price was last hiked in February 2020.
Following PDB's application on January 12 to hike the tariffs, BERC held a public hearing on May 18.
At the hearing, PDB officials had said the state-owned company will need Tk 74,189 crore to generate 88,993 million kilowatt hours (units) of electricity to supply to the power distribution companies.
If PDB sells its electricity at the existing rate of Tk 5.17 per unit, it will have to face a deficit of Tk 30,251 crore in revenue in 2022.
So, PDB needs to raise the power tariff by 65.57 percent to Tk 8.56 per unit from Tk 5.17, a BPDB top official said at the hearing.
Subsidy from the government was not factored in the calculations, he added.
A technical evaluation committee of BERC, however, recommended a 57.83 percent hike.
At the public hearing on May 18, consumer rights groups, including representatives from different business bodies, vehemently opposed any major rise in power tariffs as people are already struggling with inflation caused by high commodity prices.
They termed the proposal illogical and said PDB can offset its revenue deficit by addressing irregularities, corruption and unethical practices in buying electricity from inefficient private power plants at higher rates.
PDB's bid to raise the tariffs comes following pressure from the finance ministry.
The state-owned company has been incurring a huge financial loss due to its purchase of electricity from private power plants at a much higher rate and selling it to consumers at a lower rate.