Gas price hike: CPB threatens hartal

Gas price hike: CPB threatens hartal

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Dhaka – President of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) Mujahidul Islam Selim on Thursday threatened to announce hartal
and other agitation programmes if the government does not shelve its plan to hike gas tariffs.“When the gas prices should be cut, the government is conspiring to enhance it without any logic. People in no way accept the government’s plan to raise the gas tariffs,” he said.Speaking at a demonstration programme, Selim further said, “A strong movement will be launched to resist the government’s such anti-people move. Different programmes, including hartal, will be announced if the efforts for hiking the gas prices are not stopped.”
CPB and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) jointly arranged the programme in front of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) demanding cancellation of the move to increase gas prices and holding a public hearing on a proposal for bringing down the prices of important utility services.During a public hearing by the BERC on Monday, Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd Managing Director Mir Moshiur Rahman proposed increasing the gas prices for domestic users
by around twofold.As per the proposal, household gas price will be hiked by the highest 140 percent, raising it to Tk 16.80 per unit from Tk 7. The cost of a single burner oven will go up to Tk 1,100 from Tk 600 while the double burner will be Tk 1,200 from Tk 650 per month.Disagreeing with the proposal, a technical evaluation committee (TEC) of the BERC has failed to find grounds for raising the price at all, as the company is on course for surplus revenue to the tune of Tk 359.63 crore at the prevailing price.Selim alleged that the current government has taken a position against the poor, lower and middle-class people as it has got desperate to protect the interests of the rich.“The gas prices are necessary to reduce under the current situation of the country. We strongly demand an immediate public hearing on gas prices cut. Or else, the CPB-BSD alliance will arrange such a hearing together with people.”

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