Speakers at a webinar on Saturday said that if gas prices are raised again for the household consumers in the current situation, it will come as a big blow to the masses amid the price hike of essentials.
“Really, the people are in a grim situation… the queues for TCB products are increasing day by day," said eminent energy expert Dr M Tamim while addressing the online seminar titled: “Would It Be Rational to Increase Gas Price Now?”
The remarks from the energy experts came against the backdrop that the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) is going to hold a public hearing on March 21, on the appeals of the state-owned gas distribution companies to raise the tariff by 117 percent at the retail level for household consumers.
Energy and Power magazine organized the seminar which was also addressed by Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) chairman Abdul Jalil, Policy Research Institute (PRI) executive director Dr Ahsan H Mansur and chairman of the energy standing committee of FBCCI Humauyn Rashid.
EP editor Mollah Amzad Hossain conducted the seminar.
Dr Tamim said any sudden change in energy price will create problems for business sectors as well.
He said the government should suspend the development projects and divert the fund to protect the people’s lives as they are facing a war-like situation.
Dr Ahsan Mansur said if gas price is raised it will definitely affect the standard of living of the common people.
“Many will go under the poverty line in that case," he observed.
He suggested the government wait for some time for a stable position in the global energy market.
“Any decision in this regard should come after Ramadan," he said.
Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Abdul Jalil the energy regulatory body sent letters to the concerned departments to let it know whether there is any government’s decision on subsidy and on value added tax (VAT) and other duties on the import of liquefied natural gas before making any decision on the appeals of the state-owned companies to raise gas prices at retail level.
He said this time the BERC technical team was asked to independently analyze the appeals of the gas distribution companies and make their observation.
He said the people are experiencing a huge inflation due to price escalation and injection of money from the stimulus packages.