Sunday, April 14, 2024

Power tariff hiked again

Retail level users to pay 13pc higher effective from Dec 1, another 7pc hike from Feb 1; rise draws flak
Electricity price has gone up by Tk 0.55 per unit from December 1 for all retail customers across the country, dealing a blow to general users who consume less.
The price of per kilowatt hour electricity has soared by 13.24 percent to Tk 4.71 in the first phase of the two-stage increment, said Syed Yusuf Hossain, chairman of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC).
The energy regulator will again increase the retail tariff by 7.09 percent on February 1 next year, taking the per unit price to Tk 5.02, which is 21.28 percent up from last month’s Tk 4.16.
Yusuf, who announced the hike at a press conference at his office in the city yesterday, also said the authorities had increased power tariff by 5 percent for charities, irrigation pumps and religious institutions.
This is the second rise in retail power tariff this year. On February 8, BERC increased the average retail electricity tariff by 5 percent.
Yusuf said the increase in electricity price would help the government save about Tk 1,000 crore in annual subsidies. He, however, said the estimate was not final.
“The government is paying a huge amount of money for energy subsidies, contributing to rising inflation and higher bank borrowing. This price hike will ease the pressure on government coffers.”
The former bureaucrat said although the authorities were increasing power tariff for such users as agricultural pumps, religious institutions, charities and the rural poor, the commission has tried to keep the hike within tolerable levels.
“Although these are sensitive areas, we have to increase their tariff as we cannot forget that electricity price in Bangladesh is the lowest in the world,” he said.
However, news of the hike drew criticism from analysts and consumer rights groups.
Akbar Ali Khan, former caretaker government adviser, said the rise would have an impact on inflation, directly and mostly indirectly. “Production cost will increase as direct impact. Indirectly, it will create pressure on inflation and the price of products will go up.”
The government could make two to three thousand crore taka by hiking the prices, he said. “But the government is running a budget of one lakh and 60 thousand crore taka. It should have thought while preparing the budget if it would be able to deliver or not.”
He also said the production cost of electricity was very high in Bangladesh. “Electricity is not being produced in the most efficient way. Nobody is talking about improving management. I think reducing production cost can be one answer to subsidies.”
Quazi Faruque, president of Consumers Association of Bangladesh, said the new tariff was a double whammy for ordinary people. “On one hand, they will buy electricity at higher prices. On the other, they will pay more to buy industrial items which are produced through using electricity.”
“It is unfortunate. This will only worsen ordinary people’s economic conditions,” he told The Daily Star over the phone.
Yesterday’s price hike came a month after the bulk power price was increased by 16.79 percent to Tk 3.27 a unit, which took effect on December 1.
From now on, distributor-wise, customers will enjoy different price levels as the country’s five power suppliers maintain different tariffs for different groups.
Customers of Bangladesh Power Development Board, the country’s lone buyer of electricity from generation companies, will pay 13.62 percent more from December 1 and 6.74 percent more from February 1.
Rural Electrification Board’s customers who pay more than their urban peers will see their electricity bills rise by 10.74 percent in the first instalment and 6.58 percent in the second one.
Dhaka Electricity Supply Company (Desco) will charge its customers 14.16 percent more from December 1 and 7.44 percent more from February 1.
Clients of Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) will have to pay 15.42 percent more in the first phase and 7.76 percent more in the second phase.
West Zone Power Distribution Company (WZPDCO) will charge 12.69 percent more from December 1 and 12.94 percent more from February 1.
Despite the tariff support, only Desco will be able to make profit among all distributors. WZPDCO will reach break even and DPDC has the potential to overcome Tk 8 crore in losses if it tries hard, said BERC Member Engineer Md Emdadul Haque.

-With The Daily Star input

Related News

bKash communications chief Mahfuz Sadique dies at 40

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Mahfuz Sadique, chief communications officer of mobile financial services firm bKash, passed away in Bangladesh capital Dhaka Friday morning. He was 40. Mahfuz died around 9:00am while undergoing treatment at a hospital in the capital, bKash said in a statement. Mahfuz, who began his career as a journalist at New Age, ... Read more

Prices for potatoes increase by 229% from the previous year

Prices for potatoes varied from Tk16 to Tk22 per kg at this time last year. News Desk : dhakamirror.com Despite the presence of both new and old potatoes in the market, potato prices have soared by 229% compared to late December last year. According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the selling price for ... Read more

LGED engineer dead, UNO among 3 injured in Panchagarh car crash

News Desk : dhakamirror.com An engineer of the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) was killed and three other government officials were injured when the vehicle of a UNO hit a roadside tree in Panchagarh Sadar upazila early today. The deceased was identified as Abu Sayed, 33, upazila engineer of LGED from Pirganj upazila of Thakurgaon. ... Read more

UNHCR calls for rescue of Rohingyas stranded in Andaman Sea

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The United Nations (UN) Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has made an urgent appeal to all countries in the region, particularly those in the area surrounding the Andaman Sea, to swiftly deploy their full search and rescue capacities in response to reported vessels in distress with hundreds of Rohingya at risk of perishing. ... Read more

Over 200 RMG workers injured in Comilla while evacuating factory during earthquake

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Over two hundred garment workers in Cumilla’s Chauddagram have been injured while trying to evacuate the factory building of Amir Shirt Garment Limited during today’s earthquake. A 5.5 magnitude earthquake at a depth of 10km jolted Dhaka, and parts of the country at 9:35am today (2 December). The epicentre of the ... Read more

Daughter hacked father to death in Chattogram

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A father was hacked to death by his own daughter during an altercation over a trivial matter at Lohagara upazila in Chattogram on Friday (1 December). The deceased was identified as Abdur Rahman, 50, of Putibila Sarai village under the upazila. Police have detained the daughter, Humaira Begum, 23, soon after ... Read more

HSC results: Dhaka has most GPA-5 achievers, while Barishal has highest pass rate

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Dhaka had the highest number of GPA-5 recipients in the HSC exams, while Barishal Education Board had the highest pass rate among nine educational boards. Education Minister Dipu Moni announced today that the overall pass rate in the nine general boards is 75.90 percent. In terms of pass rates, Barishal ranked ... Read more

PSC postpones 45th BCS written tests

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Bangladesh Public Service Commission (PSC) has decided to postpone the written tests for the 45th Bangladesh Civil Service examination, which was scheduled to be held on 27 November. The announcement came through a notification signed by Ananda Kumar Biswas, the exam controller of PSC, issued on Friday. PSC held a ... Read more

After stabbing younger sister to death woman ‘kills herself’ in Hazaribagh

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A woman reportedly killed herself after stabbing her younger sister to death in the capital’s Hazaribagh area today. Police said the incident took place in the Kalunagar area at around 12am on Monday (13 November). The deceased have been identified as Jasmine Akhtar, 44, and her younger sister Nasreen Akhtar, 30. ... Read more

Oman stops issuing new visas to citizens of Bangladesh

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Sultanate of Oman has suspended the issuance of visas across all categories for Bangladeshi nationals, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) said on Tuesday. The decision was effective from Tuesday, reported Oman-based English newspaper the Times of Oman referring to the Royal Oman Police. The report said that the ROP confirmed ... Read more

Dhaka girl Nupur takes over as chairman of Unilever for a day

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Seventeen-year-old Nupur from Dhaka, had the opportunity to take over Unilever’s chairman position for one day on Thursday. There, she symbolically carried out the roles and responsibilities of Zaved Akhtar, the chairman and managing director of Unilever Bangladesh, said a press release. Nupur being an active youth club member, works for ... Read more

Hospitals must follow guidelines, orders HC

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The High Court on Thursday asked the government to take steps to make it compulsory to follow the relevant guidelines for the prevention of performing unnecessary caesarean section surgery at government and private hospitals and clinics. The court has also directed the government to widely circulate the guidelines within six months. ... Read more

Woman delivers birth to five babies at DMCH

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A woman has given birth to five premature babies. The quintuplets were born at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) at 10am on Thursday to Mansura Begum, 22, the wife of CNG driver Md Mamun from Bandardia village in Shibpur upazila of Narsingdi district. One of the newborns, however, died shortly ... Read more

Tk8.44 cr fine imposed to Kazi Farms, 3.44 crore to Suguna Food

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Bangladesh Competition Commission has fined Kazi Farms Group and Saguna Food and Feeds on charges of market manipulation causing abnormal rise in broiler chicken prices. BCC officials said that the companies must deposit the fine amount to the BCC within 10 working days. If they fail to deposit the fine ... Read more

Heritage volunteers visit national museum

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The heritage volunteers participating in UNESCO World Heritage Volunteers Programme 2023 visited national museum in Dhaka on Sunday. The ten-day workshop programme organised by Nagar Upakhyan-Perceive started on October 1, said a press release. The Heritage volunteers’ team visited national museum which is on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list on ... Read more

Fare for Bangladesh-India trains to increase from November 10

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Ticket prices of three inter-country trains on Bangladesh-India routes are going to be hiked from November 10. The fares are going to increase due to high exchange rate of US dollar and rising travel tax, according to the Bangladesh Railway officials. The trains are – Maitree Express on Dhaka-Kolkata, Bandhan Express ... Read more

Man, nephew killed by lightning

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A man and his nephew were struck by lightning in Satarbari village of Longair union under Gafargaon upazila of Mymensingh yesterday. The deceased were identified as Sohel Mondol, 40, a trader of pharmaceutical drugs, and his nephew Razib Mondol, 35 a rice trader in the village. Quoting locals, Raju Ahmed, officer-in-charge ... Read more

TV sales decline despite World Cup: Is streaming to blame?

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 captures the attention of sports enthusiasts across the world and an intriguing trend is emerging in Bangladesh’s television market. While events of this magnitude have traditionally led to an increase in TV sales, recent figures from September show a 30% decline compared to the same ... Read more

Heritage volunteers visit Paharpur archaeological museum

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The heritage volunteers participating in UNESCO World Heritage Volunteers Programme 2023 visited Paharpur archaeological museum in Naogaon on Friday. The ten-day workshop programme organised by Nagar Upakhyan-Perceive started on October 1, said a press release. The Heritage volunteers’ team visited Paharpur archaeological museum which is on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative ... Read more

Child among three dead as mud walls collapsed in rain in Gazipur

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Three people including an eight-year-old child died in separate incidents of mud walls collapsing during heavy rain in Sadar and Kaliakoir upazilas of Gazipur. The deceased are Faridul Islam, 8, son of Matiur Rahmon of Konabari Baimile under Sadar upazila, and Imarat Hossain, 65, and his wife Achia Begum, 56, of ... Read more