The government’s decision to raise the price of gas and power has upset the industrialists and business leaders in Bangladesh.
They fear this will drive up prices of local products and make them less competitive in the global markets.
On Thursday, the government hiked retail power prices by 2.97 percent and gas prices by 26.29 percent that will be effective from Sept 1.
Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) President Abdus Salam Murshedy told bdnews24.com that the move was not timely.
“Keeping in mind the realities of the global markets, this hike in power and gas rates should have been avoided at this moment.”
Abdus Salam Murshedy
Murshedy said the industries and businesses were just about trying to recover the huge losses incurred during the political unrest.
“At such a time, this will add to the pressure on us.”
Business leaders in Bangladesh have long complained about the inadequacies in power supply and availability of gas, apart from the political unrest.
Former BGMEA president Murshedy said that the hike in rates would be less painful if quality power and gas was available.
“We don’t get gas with the right pressure, we suffer so much power cuts,” he told bdnews24.com.
He appealed to the government to review the decision to hike the power and gas rates.
Bangladesh Textile Mills Association’s former president Jahangir Alamin was worried that Bangladesh was raising power and gas rates at a time when energy prices were dropping across the world.
“This will adversely impact on the competitiveness of Bangladeshi products, it will tell upon our exports.”
Alamin said the industry in Bangladesh was getting the benefit of dropping oil prices.
“If that had happened, at least we could save some money in reduced transport cost.”
Citigroup chief executive Biswajit Saha said: ” More the rates of gas and power, the greater the cost of production and the higher they have to be priced. That will impact on our competitiveness in the global market.”
Source: Bd news24