CPB, BaSad questions BERC's role, announces 'public hearing' over gas prices hike
Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-02-25 15:41:32.0 BdST Updated: 2017-02-25 15:41:32.0 BdST
Left parties have questioned the role of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) and announced its own public hearing over the recent gas prices hike.
The announcement came at a media briefing on Saturday, the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BaSoD).
On Friday, the two left parties have termed the decision 'anti-public' and called for general strike from 6 am to 12 pm on Feb 28.
At Saturday's media call, meant to defend its shutdown, CPB President Mujahidul Islam Selim said the BERC is supposed to act as an independent and neutral body.
"Two ministers went on record saying that the Commission's decision is in line with the government's recommendation."
He said the date of the 'public hearing' will be announced later.
BaSoD General Secretary Khalequzzaman Bhuiyan said, "The process of hiking prices was not at all democratic rather authoritarianism."
The announcement of hike, phased in March and June, came on Thursday.
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.
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