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High electricity bills not justified while people were denied income

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18th-May-2020       
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Many power consumers complained of receiving excessive bills for March and April after the government decided to issue estimated bills to all the power consumers based on the usage from the previous year. The government power distribution companies said that they had to come up with a solution when their meter readers were not allowed to visit households amid fears that it may add to the coronavirus proliferation risks. When citizens are in hardship to spend more for healthcare and hygiene against reduced income or income loss, the excessive bills will further marginalise them economically.
 The power distribution companies said meter readers were not willing to roam the streets during the pandemic, making it difficult for them even to distribute the bills to the consumers. The overall power consumption was far less than normal at the time with many industries remaining out of operation because of the crisis. Many of the poor living in shanties across the capital, who live hand to mouth, are already under pressure as their two months' rent is due while some even are roaming the streets begging to ensure daily meals. The excessive bill problem has not been limited to the capital. Residents of Jashore also complained about excessive electricity bills.
 As the coronavirus crisis broke out in early March the government said that the power consumers can delay paying their bills for February, March and April without facing any late penalties. Consumers Association of Bangladesh along with other civil society bodies at the end of April demanded that the government  reduce utility bills to enable people to spend more on healthcare and food. However, the late payments would also put pressure on the middle-class to poor people as there is a looming uncertainty for their regular income and employment.
We expect the authorities should reconsider that the bills have not been prepared transparently for the hard fact because of the pandemic the metro readers avoided coming for meter reading .There is also the serious consideration that for lockdown and shutdown the people were denied their regular income.

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