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Despite making profit

PDB plans to hike power price from April

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18th-Mar-2017       
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Anisul Islam Noor :
Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has plan to hike electricity price from April 1, sources said, despite the fact that a rise will affect the life of the poor people.
An official of BPDB told the New Nation in cell phone that they had submitted the proposals received from the electricity distribution  entities last week to Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission for  hiking power at the retail level.
At pesent one unit electricity cost is Tk 6.73 the BPDB submitted a proposal to make it 7.71, including service and demand charge.
The BERC's evaluation committee said that the utility companies should not hanker-after the increase of price since they used to earn profit.
After the BPDB submitted it, proposal to hike power price at bulk level, other utility companies also applied for price hike.
 Energy Adviser of the Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Prof Shamsul Alam said, the country is generating 7,500MW of electricity by burning gas, oil and coal.
The price of fuel has not increased, rather oil price has come down below 50 per cent. Yet the government decided to hike electricity price unnecessarily, he said.Moreover, all the distribution companies have been making profit during the last few years, he observed.  The government does not think that the power price hike will push up the prices of daily essential commodities to make the lives of poor people difficult, said Prof MM Akash of the University of Dhaka.  Last year, the PDB proposed a 22 per cent power hike at retail level and the Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) proposed a 17.85 per cent hike at retail level, but the evaluation committee approved only 3.75percent hiking.
In FY 2014-15 the DPDC made a big profit and that is why the company does not need  price hike at present, the technical evaluation committee told the BERC.
 The West Zone Power Development Company is distributing electricity to the south-west zone of the country in 21 districts. The company proposed a 21.31 per cent power hike.

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