Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd on Tuesday proposed raising gas tariffs for household users by 80 percent while up to 211 percent for consumers of different sectors including power, industry, and motor vehicles.
As per the proposal, if it is approved by the energy regulator, the household consumers using one burner will have to pay Tk 1,350 per month instead of exiting rate of Tk 750 while the two-burner users will pay Tk 1,440 per month instead of Tk 800 and the metered household consumer has to pay Tk 16.41 per cubic metre (each unit) instead of Tk 9.10 per cubic metre for gas consumption.
Placing the proposal at the public hearing at TCB auditorium in the city, Titas Gas managing director Mostafa Kamal said they have to move the proposal to offset the loss which it will be incurred due to distribution of imported LNG to its consumers.
Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) is the 4-day hearing responding to appeals of different gas distribution entities for raising gas tariff on account of import of LNG to meet the growing demand.
BERC Chairman Monwar Islam presided over the hearing while other members of the commission were present.
On completion of the hearing, the BERC will take the final decision on the proposals within 90 days.
As per the Titas latest proposal, the power plants will pay Tk 9.74 per unit of gas instead of the existing rate of Tk 3.16 with a rise of 208 percent while fartiliser factories will pay Tk 8.44 per unit instead of Tk 2.71 per with the rise of 211 percent.
Titas Gas proposed to increase gas tariffs by 96 percent to Tk 18.88 per unit from Tk 9.62 for captive power while it is proposed to hike 132 percent gas tariff for industries to Tk 18.04 per unit against the existing rate of Tk 7.76 per unit.
Titas proposed to raise tariff by 50 percent for CNG to Tk 48 per unit from Tk 32 while it proposed to raise 41 percent tariff for commercial use of gas to Tk 24.05 from Tk 17.04 per unit.
In the second session of the day, Sundarban Gas Company Limited placed the identical proposals in the hearing.
Earlier, Titas and other companies sent proposals to the regulator on the basis of the government's old plan of import of 700 mmcfd LNG where it proposed Tk 1,000 for single burner oven and Tk 1,200 for double burner oven and also some rise in tariff for other consumers.
Representatives from different consumer groups, including individuals, business bodies and chambers, who took part in the hearing strongly opposed the Titas proposals saying that any raise in gas tariff will be detrimental to the country's economy as they will have the count an extra cost which will make them non-competitive in the global market.
"We cannot afford any rise in the gas tariff as we're already facing challenges due to increase in our production cost," said Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin.
Adviser to Consumers Association of Bangladesh Prof Shamsul Alam said the government is asking for extra price for 1,000 LNG import. But the government is fully aware that it will not be possible to import this gas by April this year.
Bangladesh Textile Mills Association president Mohammad Ali Khokon said many textile mills will face closure if the gas tariff is increased when the production cost is rising for various reasons.
BGMEA president Siddiqur Rahman said if the industry faces closure for increased gas price, it will have multiple impacts on the economy.
The BERC will hold hearing on the proposals of Bakhrabad Gas Company and Jalalabad Gas Company on Wednesday.