Gas price hike comes as big shock

MNA Editorial Desk: The BERC announced the 22.7 percent average hike in gas prices on Thursday. It will be effective in two phases in March and June.

The decision of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) to hike gas prices has triggered discomfort among different sections of consumers.

A nearly 23% increase in tariff will be made effective in two phases from the first day of the next month, in a situation where gas supplies are also constrained by disruptions at many places.

The Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) President Golam Rahman has said the organization is thinking about a court challenge against the decision of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC).

They questioned the rise in price per stove while scarcity of gas for cooking has remained a nagging issue. Some also allege the general people have been targeted after the authorities’ failure to stop ‘stealing of gas through illegal connections’.

Now the household consumers will have to shell out 50 percent more for stoves than they are now while those using meters will have an additional 60 percent added to their bills

Public interest is missing in such decision making process. The move is apparently intended to collect more revenue to pay high cost of running a government with no control.

It is true that government has to at times hike gas prices for some reasons but such rise twice in a year and in the backdrop of a similar rise in September last year shows that the government is quite indifferent to public suffering.

But the question arises when the income level of common people remains unchanged, how they will be able to pay high charges for the waste and inefficiency of management?

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