The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday requested the government for reviewing the recent hike in gas price considering the negative impact of the decision on export competitiveness, production cost, inflation and overall economic activities.
In a press statement issued on the day, the leading chamber of the country said the gas price hike would increase the cost of production, transportation and other costs, as well as cost of agriculture and consumer goods which will push up inflation.
It will also hamper the competitiveness of the readymade garment sector and the goal of export earnings set for 2021, the MCCI said.
The chamber also said that the price hike was not tolerable for clients and consumers.
The government on February 23 hiked the price of natural gas in two phases for all sectors including household, industrial, power generation and commercial uses.
The first phase of price hike came into effect from March 1 while the second phase was supposed to be implemented from June.
The High Court, however, put a stay on the second phase price hike for six months.
Earlier the government had increased the price of natural gas in September 2015.
The MCCI said that the recent price hike came at a time when the demand of RMG and consumer products was declining in global market.
The price of apparel products of the country did not increase in international market though the price of cotton and yarn, the two main raw materials of the sector, increased by 20 per cent to 25 per cent, it said.
The MCCI also requested the government for not increasing the price of gas, at least of compressed natural gas (CNG), for mass transportation sector as it will increase the cost of transportation.
The chamber blamed that the government could not enhance the capacity of local companies though there is a fund for the purpose.
The financial deficit has been increasing due to an increase in gas supply by international oil companies and the government is transferring the deficit burden to consumers through increasing the price of gas, it said.
It also said that it would not be possible to face the challenges of the gas sector. Rather a proper energy mix for increasing the use of alternative energy, solving the crisis including illegal connection and mismatch between actual use and meter reading are needed to improve the situation.
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