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Bangladesh raises electricity prices to ease subsidy burden


Dhaka, Jan 31 (IANS) In an apparent bid to ease the subsidy burden, the Bangladesh government has again raised the prices of power at both the wholesale and retail levels.

The new rates will come into effect from Wednesday (February 1), according to a notice from the ministry of power, energy and mineral resources, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The retail price of electricity will be raised by 5 per cent for the second time in less than a month while the wholesale prices are seeing an increase of 8.06 per cent, according to the notice.

The Bangladeshi government on January 12 raised the electricity price at the retail level by 5 per cent to 7.48 taka per unit on a weighted average, ignoring opposition from businesses and consumers.

The move to raise the retail price of electricity on January 12 came after the price was hiked by 19.92 per cent at the producers’ level in December last year.

Bangladeshi State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid had earlier said that backlog made due to financial losses in gas import would be likely overcome to some extent if the power price adjustment is made on a monthly basis.

Experts claimed the markup in power prices would likely push up the nation’s inflation rate again.

Inflation in Bangladesh accelerated to 9.52 percent in August last year, the highest in 10 years, mainly driven by higher food prices, the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics reported. (1 U.S. dollar equals about 100 takas.



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