24 June 2020, Wed, 11:09

Bill introduced to change revised prices for electricity, fuel multiple times a year; Secretary General calls to repeal

Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and former lawmaker Professor Golam Porwar has issued the following statement on 24 June 2020 protesting the new bill, which has been introduced to change the revised prices of electricity and fuel more than once a year.

A bill has been introduced in the parliament on 23rd June to amend the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission Act in order to create the scope to change the revised prices of electricity and fuel more than once a year. This bill goes completely against the public interest. If the bill gets nods in the parliament, it would cause huge sufferings for the people.

Earlier in 2003, Law commission enacted a law saying that the power tariff cannot be changed more than once in a year unless the price of electricity and fuel is revised. But the latest bill would pave the way for the Energy Regulatory Commission to increase the price of power and gasoline more than once a year. Ultimately it would be disastrous for the people.

Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the government had postponed the payment of electricity bill since last march and subsequently urged the consumers to pay all the dues by this June. But the consumers have received electricity bill in the month of June, which 10-12 times higher than the usual bill.

As per the rules of BERC, bill must be counted through seven phases. The consumer has to pay the least if he/she consumes the minimum. Till 50 unit, the price of electricity is 3.75 taka per unit. But if it crosses 600 unit, it would cost 11.46 taka per unit. But the electricity bill of last 3 months did not show this module. In the recent cases, bill has been finalized on the basis of assumption.

People are already leading a miserable life due to the worst impact of coronavirus. Financial crises have forced many city dwellers to leave this city. Rest of the citizens are also in deep worries because of this mysterious electricity bill and it becomes an impossible amount for them to pay. Though the electricity bill is going higher, Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) failed to ensure uninterrupted power supply.

Under the circumstances, I am urging the authorities concerned to be refrained from passing Energy Regulatory Commission Bill-2020 and also to resolve the mass people’s crises with the mysterious power bill immediately.