Gas was too cheap, Muhith says in defence of price hike
Sylhet Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-02-25 04:12:39.0 BdST Updated: 2017-02-25 04:12:39.0 BdST
Finance Minister AMA Muhith has defended the government decision to raise gas prices, saying ‘gas price was too low'.
"Gas was too cheap in the country. That's why the prices have been raised," he said after a programme in Sylhet on Friday on being asked about the price hike.
Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) announced the new prices with over 50 percent rise for household use on Thursday.
The Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BaSoD) have called a half-day general strike for Feb 28 in protest against the decision.
The Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) has termed the gas price hike 'irrational' and is considering moving the High Court.
The price of compressed natural gas (CNG), used for automobiles, will go up from Tk 35 to 38 per cubic metre in March and Tk 40 in June.
The 14.28 percent hike will drive the public transport fare up.
For fertiliser production, industries and commercial entities, gas prices are rising by as low as 5 percent to as high as 50 percent.
Top trade body FBCCI says it will put the exports in a new challenge while garment entrepreneurs' BGMEA is worried about meeting the export target.
Arguing for the price hike, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu has said the rise was not 'too big'.
He also said power prices would go up too. For power generation, the price of gas is increasing by 12 to 15 percent.
Speaking to reporters after the programme in Sylhet, Finance Minister Muhith also reacted to the BNP's claim that the Awami League plotted the Canadian Federal Court verdict describing the BNP as a terrorist one.
"The BNP always sees foul play in its failures," he said.
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