23 February 2017, Thu, 10:24

Government raises gas price by 22.7 percent; Secretary General calls to repeal for the sake of public interest

Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, Dr. Shafiqur Rahman has issued the following statement on 23rd February, 2017 protesting the move of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) of imposing the unjust and illogical decision of raising average gas tariff by 22.7 percent as per the instruction of the government.

“By undertaking the illogical and irrational decision of hiking gas price for second time in just 18 months, the government has committed an injustice to the poor and the general masses of the country.

As per the instruction of the government, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has declared the decision of raising gas price from two phases from March 1 and June 1 respectively. As per the new tariff, the price of household single and double burner will be Tk 750 and Tk 800 from March 1 while Tk 900 and Tk 950 from June 1 respectively. In accordance with the latest decision, the price of per cubic metre of gas will increase to Tk 38 from 1 March and Tk 40 from 1 June.

Besides, gas price has been raised in all sectors including generating power, fertilizer factories, industries, commercial institutions and tea gardens. The last time the commission raised the gas price was in September 2015 when it announced 26.29 per cent price-hike on average. After the rate-hike in September 2015, the CNG rate stood at Tk 35 per cubic metre from Tk 30 per cubic metre. There is no logic behind another significant price hike within a span of 18 months.

The excessive price hike of gas will pose negative impact upon the national economy. It will increase the price hike of the essential commodities, house rent, industrial and agricultural production cost, transportation cost and caused more inflation. It will decrease consumer’s buying capacity and increase public sufferings. In brief, this decision of raising gas price is a huge blow to the poor and general people.

The incumbent government is not an elected government. So they do not care for accountability. This is why; ignoring the public interest, they have imposed this unjust decision upon the masses. The amounts of mass sufferings are increasing alarmingly under the current regime.

I am urging the authorities concerned to withdraw the decision of gas price hike considering the public interest.”