Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company on Tuesday proposed 80 per cent price hike for the household users raising the rate to Tk 1,440 from Tk 800 for double burner and Tk 1,350 from Tk 750 for single burner a month.
Titas proposed the price hike during a public hearing organised by Bangladesh Energy Regulation Commissions at TCB building amid protests by civil society members and political organisations.
For electricity and fertiliser production, the state-owned company also proposed the gas price increase by 208 per cent and 211 per cent respectively. The rate of per cubic metre gas was proposed Tk 9.74, up from the existing Tk 3.16, for electricity while Tk 8.44, up from Tk 2.71, for fertiliser.
For the industry, 132 per cent increase was proposed, raising the price to Tk 24.05 per cubic metre from Tk 7.76, which was also opposed by business community.
The gas price hike proposal was presented by Titas Gas acting managing director Harun Ur Rashid at the public hearing that began on Monday with BERC chairman Monowar Islam in the chair. The hearing would continue till March 14, according an official circular.
Energy experts and political leaders who took part in public hearing strongly opposed any price hike in the energy sector.
Leading national energy expert professor M Shamsul Alam, also energy adviser to Consumers Association of Bangladesh, said that Titas had totally failed to render its services at the consumer level.
Though the consumers were deprived of sufficient gas supply, they were charged full amount monthly, he said, adding that increasing gas price would not be rational.
Shamsul Alam also said that the persistent corruption in Totas gas connection and disconnection period should be removed first to bring transparency in this sector.
Communist Party of Bangladesh leader Ruhin Hossain Prince said that the consumer services were highly expected.
BERC should deeply consider the reaction of society before changing in its price rate, he said.
The CPB leader asked why price of liquefied natural gas was difference in India and Bangladesh.
‘We will strongly protest against import of LNG in higher price,’ he said.
Ganosamhati Andolan leader Zonayed Saki said that increase gas price would have adverse impacts all sectors.
Besides, the import of LPG would benefit some vested companies, not the general people, he said.
Saki said that there was corruption in the process of setting gas metres at households.
Business organisations including Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industries opposed the proposal of Titas Gas for hiking gas prices.
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