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BNP denounces move to double monthly prepaid gas meter rent

Energy 2024-01-31, 10:16pm


Gas for cooking

Dhaka, Jan 31 - The BNP on Wednesday denounced the government's decision to double the charge for residential prepaid gas meters, saying it is an unjustified and anti-people move.

“The rent of the prepaid meter has been doubled overnight from Tk 100 to Tk 200. It’s said that this decision has been taken by adjusting the cost of running and maintaining the meter. It’s an illogical move,” said BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.

He made the remarks while addressing a press briefing at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office.   

The BNP leader said the charge has been raised at a time when the gas supply situation at the residential level has already seriously deteriorated.

 He said there is no gas supply in the houses most of the time, day and night, but the 'illegal government' is collecting money using various tactics from the gas users.

“Doubling the meter charge without ensuring gas supply and putting the common people in misery (by suddenly raising the charge) is a manifestation of the government’s anti-people attitude. I, on behalf of BNP, strongly protest and condemn this anti-people decision.”

The state-owned gas distribution companies recently hiked the prepaid meter rent to Tk 200 from 100 without any prior notice.

In a statement on Monday, Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited said the meter charge was increased as per the government’s decision to adjust the cost of the installation and maintenance of the meter.

Rizvi said the government has been plundering public money as it has no accountability to the people - since it was formed without a mandate from the voters.

“They (govt) know they won’t have to be accountable to people and they won’t have to go to people in another election or any election as they subdue the people with guns and the state’s all apparatus. So, they can take anti-people policies and implement them as per their whims,” he observed.

He alleged that the government has punished people by increasing the charge for residential prepaid gas meters for boycotting the 12th parliament election and silently witnessing the government's election ‘circus’ on 7 January.

Voicing concern that the dollar crisis has already badly affected export growth, the BNP leader opposed the government’s decisions not to provide cash incentives to the ready-made garments and textiles sector.

“The orders for RMG products from buyers have already halved. Cash incentives for leather, jute products, and agro-processing products have also been reduced a lot. So, the export of all these products will decrease drastically,” he said.

The BNP leader said the government is cutting funds from the export sectors only to continue the looting in the name of so-called development and mega projects.

He also slammed Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud for downplaying an open letter of 242 global leaders expressing alarm over the "continuous judicial harassment and potential jailing" of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus.

He also criticised the Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader for calling the TIB report on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) politically motivated.

"Obaidul Quader yesterday (Wednesday) said corruption exists all over the world but only Bangladesh is vilified. We can say corruption may exist more or less all over the world, but we don’t know whether the Awami-styled corruption stain exists anywhere else in the world,” the BNP leader said. - UNB