Earlier on 21-23 March, the BERC held a 4-day public hearing 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 organisation will increase to Tk 652.26 billion 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 25 billion as surplus after meeting its expenses.
Opposing the claim of the Petrobangla, professor Shumsul Alam, advisor of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) challenged the authenticity of the data and statistics provided by its officials.