The High Court has put a six-month embargo on the government's decision to increase prices of household and industrial gas for a second time in June this year.
Tuesday's order came from the bench of justices Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and JBM Hassan after a primary hearing on a writ petition filed by Consumer Association of Bangladesh a day ago.
Last week, the regulator announced it would hike gas prices twice this year – in March and again in June – ignoring the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) Act that prohibits it from doing so.
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On February 23, BERC raised the gas price by a weighted average of 22.7%. For households, this hike is 55-60% and for transportation it is 33%.
In a ruling, the High Court on Tuesday asked BERC Chairman Monowar Islam and Secretary Md Faizur Rahman to explain why the latest public notification on the hike should not be declared illegal.
They will have to reply within four weeks.
Gas prices were last raised in September 2015.
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From March, the monthly gas bill for single burner stove will be Tk750, up from Tk600. From June 1, it would have been raised to Tk900.
The bill for the double burner will be Tk800 from March 1 and would have been Tk950 from June 1.