(BNP Communications)  — Accusing the government of trying to illogically increase power tariffs again, Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Monday called upon it to back off from such a move.

‘Efforts are on to hike the power tariffs again. Different companies proposed raising the retail power price by 15 percent per unit while 6-14 percent per unit at bulk level,’ said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.

The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) initiated a public hearing on the proposal Monday and it will declare its decision within 90 working days of the public hearing.

‘I, on behalf of the BNP, strongly condemn and protest the illogical decision of hiking power tariffs again. We call upon the government to retreat from the move,’ Rizvi said.

He said the country’s energy experts warned that if the proposal for raising the power tariffs is implemented industries will be affected adversely, and many mills and factories will be shut down, leaving lakhs of people jobless.

Mentioning that electricity is the lifeline of the economy, the BNP leader said the hike of its tariffs will have tremendous ill effects on industries, production, infrastructure development, household management and business and agriculture. ‘The cost of living will also be multiplied.’

Rizvi recalled the government hiked retail power tariffs five times while seven times at bulk level over the last six years. Power tariffs were hiked last on September 1, 2015.

Referring to media reports, he said the two city corporations have raised the holding taxes of the city dwellers, causing sufferings to the people who are already badly affected by the growing price hikes of essentials.

The BNP leader said the holding tax of the city dwellers was also raised illogically. This will push up house rent and cost of living of people, creating chaos in society.

He also opposed the government’s move to raise rail fares and the prices of rationed rice and wheat, and urged the government to move back from this initiative.

Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said the government has become desperate to impose taxes on people and increase the prices of different utilities and other services to plunder public money.