The Pashchimanchal Gas Company Limited on Wednesday proposed raising gas price for its consumers at different rates varying from 25 per cent to 372 per cent, or 75 percent on an average.
The PGCL presented its proposals at a public hearing called by Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission.
PGCL needs to raise gas price sits managing director Abdul Mannan told the public hearing to overcome losses.
He said that if gas prices were increased at the rates proposed PGCL would make 17.55 per cent profit per annum.
Now, he said, PGCL has to spend from its fixed deposit to pay Tk 15 crore to Petrobangla annually.
Invited by BERC to speak on the issue, CAB energy adviser M Shamsul Alam said that the PGCL presented wrong costing to justify gas price hike.
PGCL proposed to increase gas price by 75 per cent on an average, 372 per cent from fertilizer factories, 206 per cent from power generation units, 93 per cent from industries, 73 per cent from tea gardens, 66 per cent from captive power units and 25 per cent on Compressed Natural Gas.
PGCL distributes 30 million cubic feet of gas against the capacity to distribute 133 MMCF of gas, said Managing director Mannan.
He attributed the distribution shortfall to gas supplied to the PGCL by the government.
Shamsul Alam called it totally unjustified for the PGCL to propose gas price hikes on erroneous calculation showing its total distribution capacity while using only 25 per cent of it.
PGCL’s yearly revenue earning varied from Tk seven to eight crore, but it has to pay Tk 15 crore to Petrobangla annually, PGCL general manager for finance Fazlur Rahman told the public hearing.
Shamsul Alam said Petrobangla had no right to claim the dividends from its losing concern like PGCL when it even cannot supply adequate gas to its consumers.
The CAB adviser said keeping 75 per cent distribution capacity of the PGCL unutilized was bound to ruin the public sector utility and why the consumers should pay for its losses.
He said that being the owner of PGCL as Petrobangla should invest in the PGCL to make it profitable.
He said it would be totally unjustifiable to increase gas price only to show PGCL as a profit making concern.
The PGCL cannot be allowed to rob the consumers to pay undue dividends to Petrobangla, said the CAB adviser.
The public hearing began on June 11 and it ends on June 22.
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