The High Court (HC) yesterday observed that it would strictly monitor the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission’s (BERC’s) ongoing public hearing for a further adjust in gas prices. It also asked the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to become a party to a writ petition that challenged the legality of the public hearing.
The HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader came up with the observation while hearing a writ petition challenging the legality of the BERC public hearing on gas prices.
During the hearing, barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, counsel for the petitioner, told the court that no further increase in gas prices would be necessary if the corruption in Petrobangla and Titas could be reduced by 50 per cent.
The HC bench said that it would strictly monitor the ongoing public hearing and interfere in case of any anomaly.
Earlier, on March 13, the same HC bench HC had fixed March 31 for delivering its order on a writ petition.
Distributor companies have proposed a 80 per cent hike in the monthly gas bill for both single-burner and double-burner cooking stoves, from Tk. 750 to Tk. 1,350 and from Tk. 800 to Tk. 1,440, respectively.
BERC sources said that the commission proposed to increase the price of the two-burner stove from Tk. 850 to Tk. 1,200 and that of a single-burner price from Tk. 750 to Tk. 1,000. If the proposal is accepted, the price will be increased for the household sector as well as for the electricity used in power plants, captive power, CNG, industrial and fertiliser factories. In February 2017, the gas price was increased by 22.70 per cent. It was supposed to be implemented in March and July in two phases.