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Power tariff hiked up to Tk 0.70 per unit

Citing the reason for “adjustment of subsidies,” the government has raised power tariff up to Tk 0.70 per unit on an average. The new rate will come into effect from February 1.

The Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources on Thursday (February 29) issued a gazette notification in this regard. The notification said that the power price hiked at an executive order of the government.

According to the gazette notification, power price at the household level has been raised by Tk 0.28 per unit, and Tk 1.35 per unit for those who use the bulk amount of electricity and Tk 0.43 for irrigation purposes.

As per the new tariff, the retail price has increased from Tk 8.25 to Tk 8.95 per unit. At the wholesale level, the price has increased from Tk 6.70 to Tk 7.04.

UNB reports: The bulk consumers are mainly the distribution entities and large industries who receive electricity at 33 kV, 132 kV and 230 kV transmission lines directly from the single buyer and the Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB).

“So, it will have no effect on the power tariff applicable on the retail consumers until the government announces a new tariff for retail consumers,” a top official of the PDB told UNB.

There are six distribution entities—Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB), Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC), Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (Desco), Northern Electricity Supply Company PLS (Nesco), West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited (WZPDCL) and also BPDB, which is itself involved in power distribution.

As per the gazette notification, the distribution entities will purchase electricity from PDB at Tk 8.44 per unit at 230 kV, Tk 8.47 at 132 kV and Tk 7.62 at 33 kV level.

Besides, a separate gazette notification was also issued raising the transmission charge as well for the entities.

Earlier, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid at a press briefing said that power tariff would be increased from February 1, instead of March 1, said on Thursday (February 29, 2024)  meaning the new rates will come into effect retroactively, to cover February bills as well.

However, two days before, he had said the new tariff will come into effect from March 1.

The state minister said the power tariff will be hiked between Tk 0.34 (5 percent) and Tk 0.70 per unit (8.5 percent) for all kinds of consumers depending on their volume of consumption while gas price will go up by Tk 0.75 per unit only for power plants.

He also said that a dynamic fuel pricing will be introduced for the consumers from March 1 under which the price of petroleum fuel will go up and down in line with international market price.

“Each month fuel price will be declared for the consumers,” he said adding neighbouring India does this every day.

He noted that the steps have been taken to minimise the government losses caused by the increase in dollar rate. “This year the government will incur a loss of Tk 43,000 crore due to sale of electricity at lower price,” he said.

This step has been taken as part of the government move to come out of the subsidy now being given to the power sector, said the minister.