October 3, 2017, 11:24 am
Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DESCO), which distributes electricity to the capital’s northwest and eastern areas, has proposed hiking the retail power tariff by 6.34 percent on an average.
It has sought refixing the average power tariff at Tk 7.40 per unit from existing Tk 7.20, increasing Tk 0.20 per unit.
Placing the proposal at the public hearing arranged by Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Berc) at the TCB Auditorium in the city, Desco Managing Director Brig General (retd) Md Shahid Sarwar on Monday said if the bulk tariff is raised, they will have to count extra expense to provide electricity to the consumers.
“To offset our possible loss, we need to enhance the tariff at the retail level,” he told the hearing.
However, evaluating the proposal, a Berc technical committee said if the bulk tariff is raised, Desco may face 0.08 percent loss in its business. So, Desco could at best raise its tariff by Tk 0.7 per unit, it said.
Although the technical committee placed its findings, the five-member energy regulator, headed by its chairman, will take the final decision on the issue on completion of the hearing.
Berc Chairman Monwar Islam and other members were present at the hearing.
Meanwhile, Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Advisor Prof Shamsul Alam opposed the Desco’s proposal, saying the organisation can easily run with its current profits.
He also raised some questions about the government’s decision to offload shares to the capital market as the company was making good profits.
Shamsul said offloading the shares, the government has resorted to an unfair practice as a particular group of people who bought that shares are going to be the beneficiaries.
He also demanded restructuring the line charge and load charge of small consumers which he found to be irrational compared with big consumers.
The CAB advisor also alleged that some Desco employees are involved in corruption in providing temporary connections and their regularisation.
The Berc will hold hearing on the retail tariff enhancement proposal of the West Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd on Tuesday.