The decision will boost gas prices across the board, except for CNG users for vehicles who pay Tk 43 per cubic metre. The new rates will be effective from June and remain in force until further notice, according to a statement published by the BERC on its website on Sunday.
People are also likely to pay more to buy products as new gas prices have been increased for the production of power and fertiliser, industrial units and commercial lines.
Household users will pay Tk 1,080, compared to Tk 975, per double-burner stove a month, while the monthly bill for a single-burner stove has gone up from Tk 925 to Tk 990. For customers with prepaid meter connections, the price of gas per unit has been raised to Tk 18 from Tk 12.6.
Power plants will get gas at Tk 5.02 per cubic metre, up from Tk 4.45. Gas prices for captive power plants have been raised to Tk 16 from Tk 13.85 and fertiliser factories to Tk 16 from Tk 4.45.
For industrial units, the gas price was Tk 10.7 per cubic metre. From now, large units will have to pay Tk 11.98, medium units Tk 11.78 and small industries Tk 10.78.
For commercial users, such as hotels and restaurants, the price has been raised to Tk 26.64 from Tk 23 per unit.
Gas prices were last increased in July 2019 by an average of 32.8 percent. This time, BERC held public hearings from Mar 21-24 on proposals from state-owned Petrobangla and six distributors to increase the prices.
WHAT BERC SAYS
Gas price for fertiliser plants has been increased by 260 percent, the biggest jump for any type of connection. The second highest hike is for household customers with pre-paid meters – 42.43 percent.
Abu Faruque, acting chairman of BERC, said at a press conference that the government is stopping subsidies at the production level. Subsidies will be given at the farmer level, he said.
The decision not to raise the price of CNG has been taken at the request of businesses and consumers, who argued that the price was already at the highest level. The commission also considered the negative impact of a rise on public transport fares.
BERC Secretary Khalilur Rahman said national and international factors were analysed in detail and consumer interests were given priority while setting the new gas prices. BERC also took into account the advices it got at public hearings.
Chairman Faruque said the funds used for subsidies and LNG import were also considered while raising the prices.
Although the BERC technical committee recommended setting the price of gas for captive power plants at Tk 15.5, the commission raised it to Tk 16. “The commission’s decisions do not necessarily reflect the committee’s recommendation,” said Faruque.
He said even the FBCCI and BGMEA agreed that the prices should be raised to some extent with fuel price hike and inflation across the world amid the Russia-Ukraine war.
“But they urged us not to take a decision that can heavily hurt the industries and exports. We thought about all the people before taking the decisions.”