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Ceramic manufacturers against natural gas tariff hike

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 15 March, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Ceramic manufacturers against natural gas tariff hike
photo collected

Entrepreneurs have urged the government not to raise the price of natural gas for the sake of local ceramic industries.

“The authorities hiked the price of natural gas in 2019. Since then, the local ceramic industries have been struggling to overcome the challenges of pandemic situation,” Sirajul Islam Mollah, president of Bangladesh Ceramic Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BCMEA), told a press conference on Monday.

The ceramics businesses raised the demand not to hike tariff as six gas distribution companies have applied to Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) for hike the price of natural gas.

Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission is scheduled to host a hearing on March 21 to fix the new price.

BCMEA advisor Kutubuddin Ahmed, senior vice president Moynul Islam, general secretary Irfan Uddin and Directors Rasheed Mymunul Islam and Abdul Hakim were present at the briefing at Dhaka Reporters Unity in the capital’s Shegun Bagicha.

Shirajul Islam Mollah said the proposed move on price hikeof natural gas conflicts with the industry-friendly policy of the government and the move may lead local ceramics manufactures to be setback.

“If the price hikes to 116 percent, the production cost of the ceramic products will increase to 20 percent. The sector will be worst sufferers. And local brands will loss the market position against the foreign players,” he said.

BCMEA president termed the move to hike gas price as a barrier to growth of the industries that has contributed huge employment directly and indirectly.

“Ceramic is an import alternative industries with potentiality. Meanwhile, 70 ceramic factories have been established in the country including tableware, tiles and sanitary ware,”

Advisor Kutubuddin Ahmed said the ceramic businesses may come into road for begging if such move will come into light.

BCMEA General Secretary Irfan Uddin said the state-owned gas transmission companies earned 15 billion profits in last 4 years. The amount of investment in ceramic industries is worth of TK 135 billion from local and foreign companies. The local manufacturers earned foreign currencies worth of 4 billion taka through ceramic export.