5:16 pm - Friday May 24, 6915

Further gas price hike likely

Barely one year into the previous hike, the government has planned to further increase prices of gas for household use.

Monthly prices of gas supplied to single-burner stoves have been proposed Tk 1,000 instead of the existing price of Tk 600 and for double-burners Tk 1200 has been proposed instead of the existing Tk 650. Every unit of compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicles has been proposed to increase to Tk 58 from Tk 35.

Woman-cooking-milk with gasThe Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has taken steps to resolve the price hike issue early. According to the sources in energy ministry and BERC, the public hearing on the issue might take place in the current month.

The distribution companies proposed the price hike to the BERC at consumer level between last November and March. BERC chairman AR Khan on Saturday told Prothom Alo that an internal expert team of BERC is going through the proposal. A public hearing might be held over the proposal before the Eid, he added.

BERC sources said the proposal suggested increasing the gas price at every level. The companies have proposed increasing the price from 10 to 30 per cent except for household and CNG stations.

From 1 September last year, the gas prices of different classes including households were increased. The price of two burners hiked to Tk 650 from Tk 450 and the price of single-burners increased from Tk 400 to Tk 600. According to BERC Act, 2003, no company can apply to increase price twice in a year.

Sources in the energy ministry said the government no more allows new gas connections and wants to discourage gas use through pipelines. Majority of the people do not get gas from the pipelines and, instead, resort to using LP gas which is expensive. The government’s aim is also to minimise the cost inequality between these two types of users, for which a proposal to increase household gas prices has been made.

The price of CNG will also increase to maintain a price compatibility with liquid fuels such as petrol and octane. Another objective behind this, is to reduce the excessive demand of gas which is depleting in this country.

Consumer-level gas price of all classes had been increased in January 2009. Also in last September, gas prices in some sectors incresead.

-Prothom Alo