Home Power & Energy SRO solution to increase power-electricity price
Power & Energy - February 29, 2024

SRO solution to increase power-electricity price

BERC stands against people

Mahfuja Mukul : The price of gas and electricity increases from time to time. And due to the increase in the price of these products, the lower and middle class have to suffer. Along with making the life of common people miserable day by day, it is also bringing crisis for this sector. Experts say that electricity and fuel prices increase easily. But cost reduction or alternative means of price control of these products are not being sought.
In addition, the government itself is fixing the price by executive order by reducing the power of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission. Experts say that price control is possible without increasing prices if cost containment and irregularities are stopped.

Former Director General of Power Cell Engineer BD Rahmat Ullah told, there is no initiative to control the price. Costs are not shrinking. Corruption is high in projects that are invested in now. Depreciation is high.
It increases the price of goods. That is why the price of electricity and fuel is increasing. The pressure of which falls on people. He said that due to inefficiency, corruption and mismanagement the prices have to be increased. But there is less attention to eliminate them. It is important to pay attention to this. He also said that if the management is good, such corruption does not happen. Efficient administration is required. People can get some benefit from it.
On the other hand, experts have shown many ways in BERC’s public hearing as an alternative to increasing fuel prices. They also offered their own. They say that if good governance and good management were added to the related sectors without increasing the prices, the situation could have been kept under control without increasing the prices. It is being said that due to the huge amount paid for capacity charges in rental power plants, the situation is now fragile. Month after month the sitting center has to pay this capacity charge. Some centers are still getting this facility.
The power department could have taken this initiative to reduce the sitting power earlier. But didn’t take it. Because many influential people are involved in the management of these centers. Apart from this, experts have been saying that if theft system losses are reduced and management is improved, this sector could be further developed with initiatives to collect defaulted bills. But nothing is happening at work. Distribution companies are desperate to increase their profits. Some may not want the development of management. Because then the opportunity of robbery and theft will be closed.
For example, the Department of Gas and Power initiated the installation of pre-paid meters with the aim of saving electricity and gas and preventing theft. Although its users have benefited, the meter installation project is not progressing much. This is because if there is a pre-paid meter, there will be no chance of theft and robbery.
Despite the many opportunities for cost reduction and savings, increasing prices has become the only option for the energy sector due to the strategy of reducing subsidies and making profits. And they think that this trend is making the life of common people miserable day by day and is also causing crisis for this sector.
Professor of Chemical Engineering Department of Bangladesh University of Engineering (BUET) Ijaz Hossain told, earlier, BERC used to decide a price after public hearing. People benefited to some extent. Not even now. The government itself is fixing the price. And its pressure falls on people. He questioned and said that the government has run oil-based power plants even in winter. However, there is less focus on renewable energy production. But due to repeated increase in electricity prices, people are under pressure.
After coming to power in 2009, it has rightly given the highest priority to the discussion sector. That’s why the production capacity of less than 5,000 megawatts at that time has now exceeded 29,000 megawatts after three consecutive terms of the ruling party. In the last decade and a half, electricity prices have increased 12 times at the wholesale level and 13 times at the consumer level. At the retail level, per unit has increased from Tk 3.75 to Tk 8.24. Now if there is another 5 percent increase, where will the common consumers go?
Energy advisor of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Dr. M. Shamsul Alam told in this regard that if the price of electricity increases, the purchasing power of the common people will further decrease. Because, if the price of electricity increases at the wholesale level, its impact will fall on all products and services. As a result, marginalized people will be in desperate condition. Focus should be on eliminating inefficiency, corruption, load-shedding and mismanagement instead of increasing the price of electricity at the consumer level. He felt that if the capacity charges could be reduced in particular, the power generation system would be cost-effective and the consumer burden would not have to be burdened.
Speaking to reporters at the Secretariat last Tuesday, Minister of State for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said that the new price of electricity will be effective from March. Gas prices are also increasing. However, gas prices will not increase at the residential and industrial level. Only the gas that is used to generate electricity is increasing in price. The adjustment of oil will start from the first week of March with the approval of the Ministry of Finance. The Minister of State for Power and Energy said, from now on, it can be said that price adjustments are being made to gradually move away from subsidies in the field of electricity. Our target is to coordinate it in the next three years. We have taken a measure so that the coordination is at a tolerable level. Stating that Tk 43 thousand crores of subsidy will be received in the field of electricity this year, the state minister said that in the case of energy, a subsidy of 6 thousand crores will be received. We will coordinate these over the next few years. We are now out of Quick Rentals. Got out of diesel.

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