Power tariff increased

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The government has increased prices of power at retail and bulk levels, effective from this month, dealing a blow to industries as well as end-users.

At retail level the government will increase the price by five percent. Residential users, who consume over 100 units of power, will have to pay this inflated rate.

For instance, a consumer under Dhaka Electricity Supply Company (Desco) and using 200 units of power will have to pay Tk 606.50 under the new tariff, which used to be Tk 560 till January this year.

For bulk level — Desco, Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC), Rural Electrification Board (REB), West Zone Power Distribution Company and Power Development Board (PDB) itself who purchase power from PDB — the price will increase 11 percent on average. However, it will vary from metropolitan areas to rural areas.

Agricultural pumps, educational and religious institutions have been kept out from the price hike, said Syed Yusuf Hossain, chairman of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC), while announcing the new power tariff structure at a press brief at his commission office yesterday.

According to the new rate, the bulk price of the power will be Tk 2.63 per kilowatt, which was previously Tk 2.37, and will be applicable from February 1, 2011.

The price rise for the bulk level is for the next six months, as the government will again increase the price by 6.66 percent at bulk level on August 1 this year, taking the cost of each unit to Tk 2.8 — nearly 18 percent rise for bulk users at the end of the year.

In case of commercial and other categories the five percent increase will be applicable for every slab.

However, there will be more discussions on this issue and after further scrutiny the rates will be finalized.

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