Petrobangla has proposed to increase the price of gas at such a time when there is a crisis of gas in several places in the country including Dhaka. People are looking for alternative ways to cook food due to lack of gas supply these days. One of the two floating LNG terminals has been closed. It is not possible to meet the required demand with the remaining one. The people concerned think that this crisis cannot be solved within the next one month.
Although the government is failing to provide gas, it is trying to increase the price showing the spike in the international market as an excuse. Although newer gas fields have been discovered in the country, no initiative has been taken to extract gas from there.
Energy expert M Shamsul Alam complained that the bureaucrats didn’t stress on gas exploration due to ample scope of import. The spike in the price of gas after oil has the risk of further increase in inflation. Therefore, we should emphasise on rationing instead of buying gas from the spot market.
We believe that in this context, the crisis can be resolved in two ways without increasing the price of gas. First, stressing on the extraction of gas from the newly found gas fields in the country instead of being dependent on gas import. Second, increasing revenue by reducing theft and waste in this sector. Why did the government initiative to provide prepaid meters at residential areas stop midway> Approximately, some 10 per cent of the total buildings in Dhaka city have been provided with prepaid metres. Setting up prepaid metres in every house will increase the revenue of the government as well as the savings of the customers.
The people with limited income are already under immense pressure at the moment due to the continuous spike in the prices of daily commodities. They are heavily burdened with the unbearable increase in fuel oil price. Therefore, we urge the government to move away from the proposal to increase the price of gas and take effective and sustainable steps to make the energy sector self-sufficient.