Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) is set to announce its decision on Sunday on the proposal to raise the price of natural gas.
BERC chairman Abdul Jalil will announce the decision at 3 pm at a virtual briefing.
The state-owned transmission company and 6 gas distribution companies submitted their final proposals to the energy regulator on January 25 seeking a 117 per cent hike in gas price at the retail level. Besides, principal gas supplier Petrobangla also placed its proposal to raise the price of the natural gas at the bulk level.
Earlier on March 21-23, the BERC held a 4-day public hearing at at the city’s BIAM auditorium where state-run Petrobangla’s proposal to hike retail gas price faced stiff opposition from consumers, citizens, businesses and professionals.
The consumer rights groups said that any rise in gas price will be totally illogical and unfair at this moment when the people are struggling amid price hike of essentials resulting from Covid-19 pandemic shock.
The Petrobangla officials claimed that the annual expenditure of the organization will increase to Tk 65,225.75 crore due to import of LNG (liquefied natural gas) and other cost escalations.
As a result, on an average gas price needs to be increased to Tk 20 from the existing Tk 12.60 per cubic meter.
A technical team of the BERC disagreed with the claim of Petrobangla and placed its report saying that state-run agency still has a unutilized fund of about Tk 2500 crore as surplus after meeting its expenses. Opposing the claim of the Petrobangla, Prof Shumsul Alam, advisor of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) challenged the authenticity of the data and statistics provided by its officials.