The cabinet today in principle approved “The Power Law, 2016” keeping a provision of heavy punishment for destroying or damaging power establishments through sabotage, and the introduction of independent system operator (ISO) to operate the country’s power system in a coordinated manner.The approval came at the regular cabinet meeting held at Bangladesh
Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.After the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam briefed reporters.He said the draft law has kept a provision under section 46 for the highest 10 years and minimum seven years of jail and maximum Taka 10 crore fine or both the punishment for destroying or damaging power establishments like power station, sub-station, power line, pole and equipment through sabotage.BSS
The cabinet secretary said the new law is going to be framed based on the original law that was enacted in 1910.
“The new law has been proposed to translate the original law into Bangla as per Supreme Court directives and adding some new issues to the existing law,” he said.
Under section 11 of the draft law, Alam said, a proposal has been made for creation of the posts of “Chief Power Inspector” and other staff under the inspector under the Power Division of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources aimed at giving responsibility for primary inspection for providing electricity connection.
The cabinet secretary said a definition of “licensee” has been added to the sub-section 18 of section two, through which the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission will provide license for production, distribution and supply of electricity.
Alam said a new proposal has been made under section four to establish a new institution named “Independent System Operator (ISO)” to operate the country’s power system in a coordinated manner.
“The power system of the whole country would be brought under this operator,” he said. Alam said no person or organization would be allowed to engage in generating, transmitting, distributing or supplying of electricity without prior approval of the government.
He said use of electricity by any person or organization without permission of the government would be considered as “stealing” of electricity.
Person or organization concerned, he said, will be awarded maximum three years of jail or a fine of double the value of the electricity used or Tk 50,000 as fine for illegally using electricity.
The punishment will be five years of jail or a fine of double the value of the electricity used or Tk one lakh as fine in the case of the use of electricity illegally by any industrial or commercial establishment, the cabinet secretary said.
Besides, he said, anyone taking illegal sub-connection of electricity without permission of authority concerned would also be considered as punishable.
In such case, whoever is engaged in providing electricity through sub-connections shall be punished with two years of imprisonment or up to Tk 10 lakh as fine or both the punishment.
Moreover, whoever is engaged in taking sub-connections will be sentenced to three years of jail and Tk 10,000 as fine.
In the proposed law, Alam said, a new provision has been kept to form an “intelligence cell” to identify and check of pilferage of electricity and prevent misuse of electricity.
The cabinet secretary said the new law has proposed to bring the power cell under a legal framework which now exists under administrative arrangement.
Ministers and state ministers concerned attended the meeting, while secretaries concerned were present.