Experts and policy makers at a seminar on Saturday urged the government to adjust the prices of petroleum fuel, Natural Gas and power tariffs to international market prices.
Energy experts, however, pointed out that the tariffs must be adjusted through justification in line with international practice.They made the observation at a seminar titled ‘Energy Pricing’ held at International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) on Saturday, the last day of the 3-day Power and Energy Week-2018. The ministry of power, energy and mineral resources organized the seminar at the closing programme.
Energy and Mineral Resources Division secretary Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem chaired the seminar while executive director of policy research institute Ahsan H Mansur attended as the keynote speaker.
BPC chairman Md Akram Al Hossain, Petrobangla chairman Abul Mansur Md Faizullah, BPDB chairman Khaled Mahmood, Consumer Association Bangladesh energy adviser Prof M Shamsul Alam, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission member Mizanur Rahman and Prof Dr Jayashree Roy of Jadavpur University in India also spoke at the seminar moderated by Zarif Munir of the Boston Consulting Group.
Consumer Association Bangladesh energy adviser Prof M Shamsul Alam said that most of the countries have their own strategy to adjust the power or energy tariff, but Bangladesh is devoid of any such policy. “The power and energy tariffs increase in Bangladesh mostly in “irrational” ways,” said the CAB advisor.
He said that the consumers have to pay Tk 60 crore for only one Paisa hike of power tariff. It is Tk 31 crore for natural gas and Tk 600 crore for petroleum fuel prices adjustment.
Petrobangla chairman Abul Mansur Md Faizullah said natural gas is depleting gradually. “It’s unacceptable to incur the losses. ..But we are trying to make it affordable for all,” he said. He pointed out that the government is now paying about US$ 232000 for LNG per day.BPC chairman Md Akram Al Hossain said the BPC has no authority to adjust the petroleum fuel as it’s a high policy level decision. “But I think the pricing should be determined on the basis of international market prices,” he said.
He pointed out that the BPC incurred a loss of Tk 8.54 per liter while marketing the diesel. It means the company is likely to incur a loss of Tk 8.5 billion for marketing 5.5 million tonnes of diesel in current fiscal year.
BPDB chairman Khaled Mahmood said the BPDB has a debt Tk 41004 crore as it is unable to get the subsidy as per directive of Bangladesh energy regulatory commission.
He said the finance division provided a soft loan instead of subsidy. “We have so far incurred a loss of Tk 2182 crore due to providing electricity at lower cost compared to the purchasing cost in this fiscal year,” he added. It’s a main challenge of power tariff adjustment after imported pf LNG, he observed.
“The mobilization of fund also a great challenge as US$6 billion will be required in power generation, distribution and transmission,” he said.