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Govt urged not to hike gas price in 2nd phase

  • Published at 05:13 pm February 28th, 2017
  • Last updated at 05:19 pm February 28th, 2017
Govt urged not to hike gas price in 2nd phase
Apparel manufacturers on Tuesday urged the government not to hike the gas price in the second phase. The increased gas prices were supposed to be effective from June, but later in the day the High Court stayed the government decision for six months. Garment industry owners said the hike would push up production cost and force the industry face a “tough competition.” Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) on Thursday announced new gas prices with an average 22.7% rise to be effective in two phases from the next month. As per the new price, in the industry category, the gas prices will be Tk7.24 per cubic metre from Tk5.86 effective from March and Tk7.76 per cubic meter from June 2017. Bangladesh Garment Manufacturer and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Md Siddiqur Rahman came up with the call while addressing a press conference to brief the media about the “BGMEA Cup-2017” – a football competition among BGMEA members. The football match will kick off from March 2 at the International Turkish Hope School (ITHS) playground. “Prices as well as the demands for clothing products have seen a decline in the global markets. If the new price rate of gas is implemented, it would be burden for the sector,” said Siddiqur. “We urged the government not to hike the gas prices for the industry, but it has been an increase in two phases.” Since, the first phase is going to be effective from tomorrow (Wednesday), it is my earnest request on behalf of sector people to the government not to increase prices of gas in the second phase, said the top leader. He argued that over the last two years, production cost has increased by about 17% and it would go up further if the new prices are implemented. In the last fiscal year, RMG sector registered an over 10% growth but the current growth is beyond the expectation to reach the $50 billion export target by 2021, said the BGMEA boss. According to the apex trade body, Bangladesh’s RMG sector has to attain an over 12% growth every year to reach the said target. The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data shows that during the July-January period of the current fiscal year, RMG sector earned $16.41 billion, a 4.14% up compared to $15.756 billion in the same period a year ago. The BGMEA president also urged the stakeholders and critics to make comment based on information which would help the sector to be amended. Through hardwork and investment, the sector people have taken the RMG sector to today’s position, he said. “So, please do not hurt the sector through comments.” BGMEA vice-president Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu and Mohhamed Nasir were also present at the briefing.
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