All industrialists are already suffering more or less from dollar-crisis. The cement sector companies have lost 25 per cent of their capital due to the dollar crunch. The companies are losing capital and, at the same time, are being forced to use the remaining capital frequently. 

In such a circumstance, the power tariff hike came to us as ‘to slay the slain’. When the businesses were already struggling, the decision would put the factory owners and businesses in jeopardy further. 

It seems that no one is doing anything anywhere in favour of the traders. We do not find anyone beside us during a bad time. The revenue board (NBR) is extracting tax from us as best it can. The pressure is more on those who pay taxes regularly. But the board is failing to rope in new taxpayers. If the tax collection is geared up through widening the tax range, the pressure on the existing taxpayers will subside to some extent.

The power sector should have been subsidised more in view of the current economic situation, rather than increasing the power tariff. It would push up commodity prices. The businesses have already been poor and the situation would go downhill if the commodity prices rise again. So, I see an ominous sign for business in the coming days.

The author is the president of Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association (BCMA)