After electricity, govt hikes gas price

Gas cylinderProthom Alo file photo

Following the hike in power tariff, the government has hiked gas price and the new price will be effective from February.

Both price hikes have been done through government executive orders.

The gas price has been hiked in the industrial, power and financial sectors. However, the price of CNG and household gas has not been hiked.

The energy and mineral resources division issued an order in this connection on Wednesday. In large-scale industry, the price of gas per unit has been hiked from existing Tk 11.98 to Tk 30, meaning the price has nearly tripled.

For captive power plants, the new price of a unit of gas is Tk 30, which is Tk 16 more than before.

Gas price for fertiliser factories has remained unchanged at Tk 16 per unit. In the mid-scale industry, the price of a unit of gas has been increased to Tk 30 from Tk 11.78. In small scale and handicraft industry, the price of gas per unit has been increased to Tk 30 from Tk 10.78.

The price of a unit of gas at tea gardens remained unchanged at Tk 11.93.

Hotels and restaurants will pay Tk 30.50 for a unit of gas. Earlier, they used to pay Tk 26.64.

Energy and mineral resources division held multiple meetings with industrialists in the past few months over the issue of gas crisis. Even though it would increase production cost, the businessmen were willing to pay Tk 25 per unit for gas given they receive uninterrupted supply.

They said, if the government doesn’t provide gas after hiking the price, the industrial sector will collapse. And they also demanded that when the global gas price goes down, the price in Bangladesh also have to be adjusted.

Currently both the government and the private power plants are spending Tk 5.02 for a unit of gas. The price has been nearly tripled to Tk 14, which will inevitably increase the cost of electricity production.

Two officials from the Power Development Board (PBD) said, in spite of hiking the bulk electricity price, the organisation incurred losses.

The government has allotted Tk170 billion as subsidy this year. But at the current price of coal, fuel and other such materials, the PDB could be in Tk 400 billion deficit.

After the hike in gas price, this deficit will spike further, and the price of electricity could once again increase.

More than 50 per cent of the country’s electricity production comes from gas-run power plants.