Wednesday, 20 October, 2021

Speedy Power Supply Act’s extension violates consumer rights: CAB

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 22 September, 2021 12:00 AM
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Speedy Power Supply Act’s extension violates consumer rights: CAB

Consumer rights of getting quality electricity and energy at fair price have been violated with the extension of the law dealing with rental power plants, noted citizens observed on Tuesday.

National Parliament passed Power and Energy (Special Provision) Amendment Act 2021 last week, mainly extending tenure of quick rental power plants.

Alongside consumer rights, good governance in the country’s power and energy sector has been put at a deep crisis with supplying power and energy at “predatory” expenditure under this law, Consumers rights activists alleged.

Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) orgainsed the virtual dialogue involving noted citizens of the country who are vocal about power and energy issues. 

“The government had promised to bring power tarrif to affordable prices gradually. On the contray, power price increasing day by day because of extension of this law,” Prof Shamsul Alam, energy adviser of CAB said. 

The law was enacted in 2010 for a two years term with an aim to meet power and energy crisis through quick rental power plant on urgent basis.

However, the two-year law got extension four times with the latest extension rising as high as five years. The law is seen by the economic analysts as a major source of corruption in the sector.   

The law deals with unsolicited deal with quick rental power suppliers and renewal of the contracts, power and energy import, construction of transmission and distribution infrastructure of power and energy sector.

The consumer rights watchdog CAB has demanded that the law be repealed, but it said in case of emergency any unsolited deal can be entertained through switch challenge. 

The noted citizens demanded that no contracts for rental or quick rental power plants should be extended by any means. They denounced the move to transfer the power of fixing prices of petroleum products including LPG from Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC).

CAB also called for a legal provision for preventing joining of any government utility officials as BERC member within five years of his or her retirement, and removal of power and energy ministry officials from the position of board of directors of utility service providers.

Former caretaker government adviser Sultana Kamal, Architect Mubasshar Hussain, Prof Badrul Imam, Prof Izaj Hossain, Eng Salek Sufi, Prof MM Akash, Advocate Rizwana Hassan, Prof Tanzim Uddin Khan and Dr Turin Afroz.