Despite the increased cost of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, the government can increase commercial gas price at a lower rate, apex body of apparel exporters said on Tuesday.
“We, from BGMEA, are trying to state that the previous gas price was set when international gas prices were much higher. But now the price of LNG in the spot market has come down,” Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Faruque Hassan said at a press conference on Tuesday.
In a recent administrative order, the government increased commercial gas price by 178 percent from February to keep subsidy pressure low. Now, per unit gas price has been raised to Tk 30 from Tk 10-12.
“The gas mix involves locally produced natural gas, imported LNG with long-term contracts, and imported LNG from the spot market. Price of LNG imported through long-term contracts is $12-13 while spot market LNG price has now come down to $17-18 from $70,” Faruque Hassan pointed out.
The leader of the apparel exporters also called for lowering system loss from the gas sector. He said the burden of the sectoral graft is being eventually transferred to general consumers.
Turning to the industry’s export scenario, he said the international retailers and brands have been cancelling, delaying or putting work orders on hold in garment factories because of volatile global economic situation and for unsold stockpiling of the clothing items in the stores.
BGMEA chief called for stern actions against the miscreants who are involved in theft of export-bound goods on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway.
Faruque Hassan criticised the government for staggering gas and power prices as the recently increased prices would create an extra burden on the cost of production and prevent the sector from staying competitive in the global market.