3 categories of licence set for petrol pump ownersManjurul Ahsan
Entrepreneurs refuse to seek licence from energy commission
Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission, in the face of protest by the owners of petrol pumps, has set three categories of licence for petrol pumps based on their yearly turnover.
Setting the categories, the commission said the country’s 4,200 petrol pumps would have to receive licences by paying Tk 20,0000 to Tk 50,000 to the energy commission. The businessmen would have to pay the money following the same criteria for yearly renewal of their licences.
‘Now the businessmen will have no say against the commission’s move’, commission member Salim Mahmud said.
But Bangladesh Petrol Pump Owners Association president Mohammad Nazmul Huq on Saturday said they would not apply to the energy commission for licences as the pumps were not under the jurisdiction of the commission.
The energy commission in February had sent a draft regulation to the law ministry for vetting.
‘We will frame the regulation immediately after the law ministry’s vetting,’ Salim told New Age.
Nazmul said that the petrol pumps were running their business under Bangladesh Petroleum Act, 1934, as amended in 2010 and Bangladesh Petroleum Rules, 1937 and received licences from the Department of Explosives.
The government did not take Bangladesh Petroleum Act 1934, as amended in 2010, or Bangladesh Petroleum Rules 1937 into consideration while making the BERC Act 2003, Nazmul said.
Energy commission officials said that petrol pump owners would be given one month, from the date of the issuance of the notification, to apply for licences.
They said that the pump owners would also have to submit to the BERC no objection certificates from the Department of Explosives and other agencies concerned.
The commission would issue the licences as soon as the pump owners applied for them, they said.
Initially the energy commission drafted a regulation fixing Tk 1,00,000 for a licence in line with the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission Act, 2003, but it revised the amount at Tk 50,000 for all petrol pumps for obtaining licence and their yearly renewal to ease the financial burden on the entrepreneurs.
But the pump owners threatened that they would go for strike against the ‘irrational decision.’ Owners of compressed natural gas filling stations expressed solidarity with the petrol pump owners.
Owners of petrol pumps and CNG filling stations said that the BERC was trying to squeeze them in the name of regulation when their business was passing tough times.
Salim said that sections 3, 27, 28 and 29 of the BERC Act made it mandatory for the pump owners to obtain licences from the commission.
BERC was given the authority to issue the licences to bring the country’s petroleum distribution system under regulatory discipline, he added.
The commission was established under BERC Act 2003 to regulate energy supply, storage, transmission, distribution and marketing in accordance with Bangladesh Petroleum Act 1974, he said.
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