Saturday, 19th June 2021

Sheikh Hasina cites economic growth as reason for gas hike

Dhaka, Jul 10(BAN/CD): At a media briefing, Hasina explained the rationale behind hiking gas prices.

“Energy is linked to economic development. Our economic growth is now 8.1 percent because we paid attention to energy,” Hasina said citing provisional GDP data for fiscal 2018-19.

Following the announcement of a 32.8 percent hike in gas prices on Jun 30, Activists of the Left Democratic Alliance observed a nationwide half-day long strike on Sunday. BNP and several other alliances also joined the protests in support of them.

The price of per cubic metre imported LNG is Tk 61.12 but the government takes only Tk 9.80 for that amount, she explained.

Defending her government from criticism over the issue, Hasina also compared gas prices between India and Bangladesh based on the statistics.

In Bangladesh, the price of per cubic metre LNG is Tk 12.60, Tk 10.70, Tk 43 and Tk 23 for domestic, industry, fuel, and commercial sectors, respectively, while it costs Tk 30-37, Tk 40-42, Tk 44, Tk 58-65 for each sector in India.

The prime minister also pledged to boost provisional GDP rate from 8.2 percent to 10 percent by 2024.

When questioned by a reporter after her five-day long official visit to China, she said the country will have to decide whether they want gas or not.

“Despite our success in energy sector, we have to import gas and it costs more as we take liquefied natural gas or LNG.”

“There are two options before us. If we do not raise the gas price, we have to minimise the import of LNG which will surely affect our development.”

‘If people really want to see economic development, they have to accept price hike.”

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