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Energy Price Hike

Low-income groups bear the brunt

  • ANM Mohibub Uz Zaman
  • 29th August, 2015 10:19:47 AM
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Low-income groups bear the brunt

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People on low and middle incomes are going to feel the pinch of the latest hike in the prices of two essential utility services—electricity and gas—which take effect from September 1.

 

Domestic power consumers, who fall under lower usage slabs, will have to pay higher rates compared to those under higher usage slabs.

 

Again, single gas burner users will now pay Tk 600 instead of existing Tk 400 and Tk 650 for double burners instead of Tk 450.

 

Higher power and gas prices will shoot up the cost of living, creating instability in the market and at the same time narrow down people’s access to power, said a cross section of people.

 

The government on Thursday hiked retail power prices by 2.97 per cent and gas prices by 26.29 per cent.

 

 

Metered industrial connections will see a rise of Tk 7 per cubic feet from existing Tk 5.16 while compressed natural gas (CNG) at fuelling stations will now cost Tk 35 per cubic metre with a Tk 5 rise.

 

Against this backdrop, Awami League leader Suranjit Sengupta has urged the government to reconsider its decision of hiking up energy prices.

 

“The government is set to raise prices of electricity and gas. The move has been made at a time when fuel prices have fallen on international market drastically. The move to increase electricity prices is not logical.” The government is increasing power price in the name of adjusting the hike on global market but it never decrease the price when it falls, he mentioned.

 

The former minister came up with the remarks while addressing a discussion at Diploma Engineers Institute in the capital.

 

Cost of power production has now decreased because the fall in fuel prices, he observed.

 

CNG-run three-wheelers will also feel the effects of the new gas tariff, said ATM Nazmul Hasan, secretary Dhaka City CNG Auto-rickshaw Owners Association.

 

Meanwhile, bus owners have started squeezing higher fares from passengers soon after the announcement of gas price hike.

 

Talking to daily sun, consumers have aired their grievances over the latest hike in the utility prices which will automatically push up essential prices.

 

People in the fixed income groups will now count the cost of higher prices for household gas and electricity bills at a time. They also pay higher bus fares, higher prices for consumables.

 

“For this,” said privet employee Tanzin Ahshan, “people’s living cost will soar. It’s now homeowners’ time. They tend to raise house rents soon after fuel tariff hike.”

 

Faruk Hossain, owner of Kamal Rice Agency at Karwanbazar, said transport cost will also rise for a hike in gas price. It will push up production cost.

 

Mahmud, owner of Mahmud General Store, also said they have to adjust product price with the haulage charge. If transport cost rises, they will have to raise commodity prices.

 

“The price hike would affect transport and production costs. The ultimate sufferers are people living on fixed incomes.”