Sunday 26, March 2023

Govt changes law to hike gas, power price

Time Digital Report: State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid submitted an (amendment) bill in Parliament on Sunday for creating scope for the government fix the prices of power and energy without public hearing.

The Bill was submitted and sent in the House to the respective scrutiny committee for further examination.

The committee was asked to submit its report within five days.

Earlier, Law Minister Anisul Huq placed the "Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (amendment) Ordinance, 2022" in Parliament on 5 January.

President Abdul Hamid promulgated the ordinance on 1 December last, amending the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) Act-2003.

The law ministry issued a gazette on 1 December on the amendment that allows government to adjust the prices of gas and electricity besides fuel oil.

Previously, the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources used to adjust the prices of fuel including diesel, octane, kerosene and petrol without any hearing but the prices of gas and electricity were adjusted by the BERC through hearings.

With the amendment of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) Act-2003, the power ministry will not require to hold a hearing to decide new prices for gas and electricity.

The BERC is an autonomous body which was established based on the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Act 2003, aiming at improving power and energy infrastructure in Bangladesh. The law was amended thrice in the past.

The Cabinet on 28 November approved an amendment to the BERC Ordinance 2022 to empower the government to set fuel tariff on its own under special circumstances without waiting for the commission's public hearing and decision.


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