The country's businessmen have urged the government not to increase the price of gas and electricity.
Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Md Jashim Uddin has sent a letter in this regard on Monday to Prime Minister's Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury.
On the same day, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) President Mohammad Ali Khokon called on the energy adviser and requested him not to increase the price of gas.
The BTMA president requested to consider the recommendation of the technical committee of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) in determining the price of gas.
He said the technical committee has recommended to fix the maximum price of per cubic metre gas at Tk15-Tk15.5. If the price is fixed at that rate, the government would not have to provide any subsidy and the industries will also be able to survive. At present, the price of per cubic metre of gas for captive power (used for industrial power generation) is Tk13.85.
The BTMA president told The Business Standard that the original the price of per cubic metre gas, excluding the imported LNG that is mixed with local gas for power generation, would be Tk15 to Tk15.5. The regulatory commission has fixed the price of LNG-mixed gas at Tk28.
"We have informed the matter to the energy adviser. He also agreed with our statement. We hope that a positive decision will be made in this regard," he added.
The FBCCI's letter to the energy adviser to PM said it would not be appropriate to consider the proposal to increase gas and electricity tariffs without a full analysis of the economic impact on public life. The country's 78% gas supply comes from domestic sources.
"Considering the overall situation, we are requesting the government not to increase the price with subsidy at the import stage as proposed by the regulatory commission," it said.
Moreover, in the letter, the FBCCI also called for purchasing cheap electricity from the regional power market as proposed in the SAARC Framework Agreement on Energy Co-operation (Electricity)-2014 and the India-Bangladesh Memorandum of Understanding-2010. It also urged to take and implement Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN)-based projects in the hydropower sector.