The government formed many companies for power generation and distribution but that has not served the purpose of making electricity more accessible and affordable.
Instead, consumers are paying more than double the price they paid before, speakers said on Monday at a virtual seminar titled "Consumers right's protection in energy transition" organised by the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB).
Presenting the keynote paper, journalist Manjurul Ahsan said the transition in the power sector had been aimed at creating separate business space for power generation, transmission and distribution; to increase competitiveness to improve services and to make the sector commercially profitable.
It was also intended to attract private investments and mitigate the financial deficit by hiking the price.
"But in reality, competition has not grown as expected, hence the poor service quality," Manjurul said.
On the other hand, the power price at the consumer level has shot up by 90% in the last 11 years to mitigate the Bangladesh Power Development Board's financial deficit, he added.
In 2010, the retail price of per unit electricity was Tk3.76, which has increased to Tk7.13 per unit.
CAB's energy advisor, Prof M Shamsul Alam said the government had failed to control companies in the power sector though the transition began 17 years back.
He questioned the Energy Regulatory Commission's role because, he said consumers were now purchasing electricity at a much higher rate.
Prof M M Akash said, "We rejected the indemnity act that was a bar on getting justice for the killing of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu. But why such act should be there in the power sector now."
He termed the Quick Enhancement of Electricity and Energy Supply (Special Provision) Act 2010 an indemnity act.
The act was passed in 2010 for three years but it has given extensions to the end of this year.
Speakers at the seminar said expensive quick rental power plants had been approved to meet the electricity demand. Later, floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal, power plants and coal-based power plants were given permission under the act.