Dhaka, Jul 8 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said people should accept the gas price hike for the sake of the country’s economic progress as the government has to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) at a higher cost.
“If you truly want economic development, it’ll [gas-price hike] have to be accepted,” she said.
The Prime Minister was replying to a question while briefing journalists at her official residence Ganobhaban in the afternoon about the outcomes of her just-concluded visit to China.
Bangladesh has achieved 8.1 percent GDP growth, said Sheikh Hasina adding, “It was possible as we paid enough attention to energy, and we’ve been able to boost power generation, too. But, we’re to import gas, and the import cost of LNG is huge. Energy is most important for economic development.”
The PM said the import cost of per cubic feet LNG is Tk 61.12, but it is being sold at Tk 9.80/cf by providing huge subsidy. “Even after the gas price hike, over Tk 10,000 crore has to be given as subsidy.”
Hasina said there are two ways remain open -- either to refrain from increasing economic growth by reducing LNG import or accepting the price hike in the interest of economic development. “Gas prices are also adjusted in all countries in line with energy or gas import, she added.
Referring to gas prices in neighbouring India, the Prime Minister said its prices are still much less than in India. The gas prices are adjusted in India twice a year – first in April and then in October.
“It’s said the gas prices were decreased [in India]. [In India} the price of household gas is Tk 30-37/cubic feet, whereas that is only Tk 12.60 in Bangladesh,” she mentioned.
The gas prices for industrial purpose is only Tk 10.70/cf in Bangladesh against Tk 40-42/cf in India, the CNG price is Tk 43/cf in Bangladesh, which is Tk 44/cf in India, and the gas price for commercial purpose is Tk 23/cf against Tk 58-65/cf in India, Hasina said.
Taking a swipe at protestors, the Prime Minister said leftist and rightist parties raised the same voice over it. “They forgot what the situation was 8-9 years ago.”
In 2004-2005, India had wanted to take gas from Myanmar installing pipeline through Bangladesh, but Khaleda Zia government didn’t allow it.
Had she (Sheikh Hasina) been in the power at that time, she would have allowed the pipeline ensuring Bangladesh’s share from the gas, Hasina said.
She said had Bangladesh taken the share and used it for economic development it would not require to import LNG now.
Hasina returned home on Saturday wrapping up her five-day official visit to China.
Islamic University, Jul 8 (UNB) – An international seminar on ‘Contemporary challenges for international humanitarian law’ was held at Islamic University (IU) in Kushtia on Monday.
IU Law Faculty and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) jointly organised the seminar at Mir Mosharraf Hossain Academic building of the campus around 11 am.
IU Vice Chancellor Professor M Harun-Ur-Rashid Askari addressed the seminar as the chief guest while deputy head and delegation of ICRC, Bangladesh Abdoul Latif delivered the welcome speech with Law Faculty Dean Professor Reba Mondol in the chair.
IU Pro-VC Professor M Shahinoor Rahman, Treasurer Professor M Selim Toha and Chittagong University’s Law Faculty Dean Professor ABM Abu Noman attended the seminar as the special guests.
Over three hundred teachers and students of the university participated in the seminar.
Pabna, July 8 (UNB) – Three people were killed when a truck hit a motorbike on Dhaka-Pabna highway at Birahimpur in Aminpur upazila on Monday.
The deceased were identified as Rafiqul Islam, 35, son of Shahai Pramanik of Chinakhara Adampara in Sujanagar upazila, Mokhter Hossain, 32, son of Ramjan Ali of Birahimpur village and Isa Khan, 28, son of Dulal Khan of Atraisukha village in Sathia upazila.
The accident took place around 12:30 pm when the truck dashed the bike from behind, leaving its three riders killed on the spot.
On information, police recovered the bodies and sent those to local hospital morgue for autopsy.
Police seized the truck but its driver and his helper managed to flee the scene.
Dhaka, July 8 (UNB) - Students of seven Dhaka University-affiliated colleges on Monday called their movement off after the university authorities assured them of meeting their five-point demand.
Abu Noman, a student of Dhaka College, said they withdrew their movement as the DU authorities assured them of taking steps to meet their demands.
"We met the University Vice-Chancellor…he assured us to meet our demands as soon as possible.” he added.
Around 80-100 students formed a human chain in front of Freedom and Democracy Gate and then a 7-member delegate met the DU VC around 11.30 am.
Their five demands are publishing flawless results of all departments within 90 days after holding of examinations, publishing the causes of failure in examinations, setting up a separate administrative building for seven colleges, DU teachers must take classes in every department at least for two days a month and publishing an academic calendar along with a crash programme to reduce session jam.
The affiliated colleges are Dhaka College, Eden Women’s College, Government Shaheed Suhrawardy College, Kabi Nazrul Government College, Begum Badrunnesa Government Women’s College, Mirpur Government Bangla College and Government Titumir College.
Cox’s Bazar, July 8 (UNB) - Five days of heavy rains and winds have pounded Rohingya camps in the district displacing over 2,700, damaging over 3,400 houses and leaving two people dead, said IOM on Monday.
“We’re only half way into the monsoon season and helped over 2,000 people in the past 72 hours. Our teams have been working round the clock,” said spokesman of International Organization for Migration (IOM) George McLeod on Monday.
Preliminary damage estimates have already exceeded those recorded in 2018, McLeod added.
The destruction – triggered by monsoon weather systems sweeping into the Bay of Bengal – saw IOM staff and volunteers working throughout the camps to repair damaged structures and relocate the hardest-hit families to emergency shelters, according to an IOM media release.
Records from rain gauges between July 3-5 in the Kutupalong mega camp showed 510 mm while camp 16 – another major settlement – recorded 530 mm.
IOM and partners, including UNHCR and WFP, have been preparing for the monsoon and cyclone season since late 2018 through infrastructure upgrades and awareness-raising campaigns in both the camps and host communities.
IOM preliminary damage data covering the period July 2-6 includes 1,186 households affected by landslides, 216 households impacted by flooding, 1,840 households affected by wind, 15,534 people affected by flooding or other safety risks, 391 landslides and 51 wind storms.
As of Sunday night, IOM damage reports for the previous 24-hour period indicated 13 more landslides, nine windstorms and two floods affecting 2,200 individuals and 432 households.
The rains and wind are expected to continue this week.