Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) on Thursday raised the weighted average gas price by 22.7%. The new tariff will be effective in two phases from the beginning of March and June respectively.
During a press conference held at the commission office in the capital, Monowar Islam, the newly appointed chairman of the BERC declared new price.
BERC members Mahmudul Haq Bhuiyah, Rahman Murshed, Md Abdul Aziz Khan and Md Mizanur Rahman were present at the press conference.
The BERC has increased the gas price after one and half years.
The BERC Chairman said that from March 1, the price of gas will be increased by a weighted average of 11.35% and from June 1, by another 11.35%.
After the hike, the domestic consumers of single burner oven will have to pay Tk 750 instead of Tk 600 from March and Tk 900 from June.
The consumers of double burner oven will have to pay Tk 800 instead of Tk 650 from March and Tk 950 from June. The gas price for CNG run vehicles will be increased to Tk 38 from Tk 35 in March and Tk 40 in June.
The price of metered gas for the household will be increased to Tk 9.10 from Tk 5.16 from March and Tk 11.20 from June. The gas price for power plant will be increased to Tk 2.99 from Tk 2.82 from March and Tk 3.16 from June.
The gas price for captive power will be increased up to Tk 8.98 from Tk 4.18 at the first phase and Tk 9.62 at the second stage. For fertilizer Companies, the gas price has been increased from Tk 2.58 to Tk 2.64 in March and to Tk 2.71 in June.
For the industries, the gas price has been raised to Tk 7.24 from Tk 5.86 in March and Tk 7.76 in June. The gas price for the tea sector will be Tk 6.93 in March and Tk 7.42 in June from its current Tk5.86.
The gas price for commercial connection will be Tk 14.20 from March and Tk 17.04 from June from its current Tk 9.47.
The distribution margin for the two gas distribution companies- Sundarban Gas Company Limited and Paschimanchal Gas Company Limited will be increased to Tk 0.2654 from Tk 0.1565 per cubic meter.
About the rationale behind the price hike, the BERC Chairman said, the relatively poorer people in the villages pay more prices for gas usage than the urban people. “So I do not think the new price is unfair.”
The BERC Chairman also said that the notion that the price of gas has been increased because of LNG is not right.
In august this year, BERC hold an eight-day public hearing on gas transmission tariff and price hike proposals submitted by the state-owned gas transmission and distribution companies.
The companies were Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd, Pashchimanchal Gas Company Limited, Bakhrabad Gas Distribution Company Limited, Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited, Jalalabad Gas Transmission and Distribution System Limited and Sundarban Gas Company Limited.
Prof Shamsul Alam, Energy Advisor of Consumer Association of Bangladesh said that during the mass hearing, the gas companies could not justify their rationale for increasing the gas price.
"Rather we said that their demand for price hike is illogical and illegal as they all are making profit." he added.
Prof Alam said, if the gas companies can thwart their malpractices and reduce system loss, then they will not be needing the money by imposing increased fare on the common people.