Gas prices bubble up: Bangladesh households hit with over 50% monthly rise for stoves
Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-02-23 17:48:14.0 BdST Updated: 2017-02-24 00:52:21.0 BdST
Despite opposition by several quarters, the government has hiked natural gas prices, which will be phased in March and June.
Household gas charge for a single burner stove will be Tk 750 from Mar 1 while for double burner stove Tk 800, up from the current Tk 600 and Tk 650 respectively.
In the second phase from Jun 1, the monthly charge for a single burner stove will be Tk 900 and for a double burner stove Tk 950.
Those, who pay the gas bills for household use through meters, will have to pay Tk 9.1 per cubic metre from March and Tk 11.2 from June. They are currently paying Tk 7 per cubic metre.
It means that stove-based charges are rising by 50 percent while meter-based gas cost will go up 60 percent.
Price of compressed natural gas (CNG), used for automobiles, will go up from Tk 35 to 38 per cubic metre in March and to Tk 40 in June.
The 14.28 percent hike will drive the public transport fare up.
For power generation, fertiliser production, industries and commercial entities, gas prices are rising by 5 to 50 percent.
The businessmen will raise goods and commodity prices to offset the increased charge and it will be the consumers whose pockets will burn.
Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) released a public notice over the revised prices on Thursday.
The Sheikh Hasina government raised the gas prices for the last time on Sep 1, 2015 by 26.29 percent on average.
BERC held public hearings from Aug 7 to 17 last year on state-run gas distribution firms' proposal to hike the prices, following which the new prices have been announced.
(per cubic metre)
|From Mar 1||From June 1||Rise in |
|Power||Tk 2.82||Tk 2.99||Tk 3.16||12|
|Captive Power||Tk 8.36||Tk 8.98||Tk 9.62||15|
|Fertiliser||Tk 2.58||Tk 2.64||Tk 2.71||5|
|Industry||Tk 6.74||Tk 7.24||Tk 7.76||15.13|
|Tea Garden||Tk 6.45||Tk 6.93||Tk 7.42||15.03|
|Commerce||Tk 11.36||Tk 14.2||Tk 17.04||50|
The Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) had opposed the proposal to hike gas prices at the hearings.
After the announcement of the price hike, CAB President Golam Rahman told bdnews24.com the organisation was thinking about moving the court.
Referring to the BERC law, he said there are specific rules to fix prices of energy products.
"The law stipulates preservation of the rights and interest of the consumers, the people. The prices have to be fixed after hearing every side. But no one from the commission took part in the hearings. Only one official came one day," said the former Anti-Corruption Commission chairman.
He said there was no scope of raising the prices following the arguments presented by the distributors at the hearings.
He also said the rule to fix the prices within 90 days from the end of the hearings was violated.
"Actually, the basic of raising prices is fairness and rationality. The commission's announcement to raise the prices is irrational and it violates consumers' rights," he added.
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