Friday, March 22, 2019 | ePaper
Why hiking power tariff hike should not be declared illegal: HC
The High Court (HC) on Sunday issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain in four weeks as to why the order, on November 23 last year, on hiking the power tariff at wholesale and retail markets should not be declared illegal.
The HC Bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice M Ashraful Kamal passed the order after hearing a writ petition challenging the legality of the power tariff hike.
The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC), its Chairman and Power Secretary have been asked to respond to the rule.
Convener of Consumers' Association of Bangladesh Architect Mubasher Hossain filed the writ petition on May 23, 2018 saying that the energy regulatory commission issued an order about raising power tariff at wholesale and retail markets which was a violation of the law.
Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua appeared in the court on behalf of the writ petitioner while Deputy Attorney General Motahar Hossain Saju stood for the state.
Barrister Jyotirmoy said, from September 25 to October 5 last year, BERC held a mass hearing on the tariff of electricity but it did not issue any order on decision of the mass hearing.According to the BERC Act to 2003, the commission has to issue an order in 90 days on the mass hearing but the Commission did not issue any order on the decision of mass hearing, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua said.
Much to the chagrin of consumers, rights groups and businesses, the BERC, November 23 last year, raised the power tariff by 5.3 percent or Tk 0.35 per kilowatt-hour unit on an average.
The tariff was hiked to meet the revenue requirement of power distributors.