State-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has sought Tk 58 billion from the government to carry out the regular expenses as huge electricity bills remain unpaid.
“We sought the financial support from the government and will pay back once the due electricity bills are collected,” BPDB chairman Md Belayet Hossain told the FE Saturday.
The BPDB is the lone buyer of electricity from all of the country’s power plants including ‘expensive’ oil-fired, gas-fired, hydro and coal-fired ones and has to pay the plant owners according to power purchase agreements, or PPAs, he said.
State-run power distribution companies including the BPDB did not impose any surcharge on electricity bill payments of household consumers for the months of February, March and April due to coronavirus pandemic.
The household consumers have been asked to pay electricity bills for the months of February to May by June 30, according to a decision of the Power Division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources (MPEMR).
Other state-run distribution companies, however, only informed the government about the loss they are incurring due to the unpaid electricity bills.
“As we are autonomous entities, we did not seek any financial support from the government to cover up the losses out of the unpaid electricity bills,” said Bikash Dewan, managing director of Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC).
He, however, hoped that the pending bills would be received soon.
Officials said, a good number of electricity consumers across the country allegedly got exorbitant bills over the past couple of months of nationwide shutdown.
Some of them alleged that the electricity bill for the month of April was almost double than that of the previous month.
While others alleged that they got inflated electricity bills even if they did not use electricity.
Usually a 5.0 per cent surcharge is imposed on electricity bills against non-payment for each month.