18 January 2023, Wed, 11:18

Government increases the gas price by up to 179 percent; Acting Secretary General condemns

-Maulana ATM Masum

Acting Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, Maulana ATM Masum has issued the following statement on 18th January 2023 protesting and condemning gas price hikes at the retail level by up to 179 percent.

Bangladesh government in an executive order increased the retail piped gas prices of four of the eight types of consumers by up to 179 percent. The new price will come into effect from February 1. A gazette notification released in the afternoon showed that power producers would now have to pay Tk 14 for a cubic meter of gas following a 179 percent increase on its previous price of Tk 5.02. Captive power producers saw an increase of 88 percent in the gas price and they have to pay 30 taka instead of 16 taka. Small, cottage and other consumers saw their gas price rise by 178 percent, followed by 155 percent rise in the price of gas used by medium industry and 150 percent rise for large industrial gas consumers. Commercial gas consumers such as hotels and restaurants saw their gas prices go up by more than 14 percent.

With the latest one, under the current regime of 14 years, the gas price has been increased 9 times. The decision to gas price hike is unjust and illogical and it certainly goes against the public interest. We are vehemently condemning the decision.

The new gas price came five days after the retail electricity price was increased by five percent and the electricity demand charge by up to 42 percent. This price hike will cause a negative impact on the industrial sector. Industrialists and businessmen will be compelled now to increase the price of their products, which will ultimately be a major blow to the people. People are already suffering terribly due to price hikes of essentials, inflation, and an overall economic crisis. The latest price hike decision will intensify the crisis more.

This government is frequently increasing the price of electricity and gas without considering the mass suffering. They are busy in ruining the economy by laundering unprecedented amounts of money to foreign nations. We are urging the concerned authority to repeal the decision to gas price hike immediately.