Different political parties and groups, including the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and the Jatiya Party, on Saturday demanded cancellation the latest hike of gas and electricity prices terming it unjustifiable.
Ruling Awami League advisory council member Suranjit Sengupta and partners of the ruling alliance also said that the government was not justified in increasing the prices.
They said that the price hike of power and gas would largely affect the general people especially the middle and lower income groups and would cast negative impact on agriculture, industries and business.
BNP spokesman Asaduzzaman Ripon at a news conference at the party’s central office on Saturday asked the government to cancel the latest price hike and demanded a fresh public hearing for adjusting prices with the prices of fuel oil in the international market.
Awami League advisory council member Suranjit Sengupta said that the price hike was quite unjustifiable when its production cost had already come down as fuel price decreased in the international market.
The leader of the opposition in parliament, Raushan Ershad, in a statement said that the price hike was an opposite reflection of aspiration of people who hoped that the government would reduce the price considering drastic fall of the fuel oil price in the international market.
She said that the lower income group and the business sector would be largely affected by the price hike as it would cause rising of the production and transport costs.
The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission on August 27 increased the average price of electricity by 2.93 per cent and natural gas by 26.29 per cent at consumer level with effect from September 1, apparently under pressure from the government.
BNP spokesperson Ripon asked Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission to arrange public hearing anew to take opinion of the BNP and all others stakeholders of the country.
He said that the price hike bring the sufferings of the people beyond the level of their tolerance.
He said it was natural that production cost of electricity should drop following decrease of prices of oil in the
international market but the government increased the power tariff and prices of gas was increased despite the gas sector was profitable.
BNP leaders Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf and Abdul Halim, among others, were present.
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, a partner of the ruling alliance, executive president Moinuddin Khan Badal said that they rejected the price hike as there was no rationality in hiking the price.
Nurur Rahman Selim, convener of ruling alliance partner Ganatantri Party, said that there was no necessity of hiking the prices as the alliance government had already hiked the prices on several occasions since 2009.
Different left leaning political parties at separate rallies in the city protested against the price hike terming it unjustified.
Democratic Left Alliance, the city unit of the Workers Party of Bangladesh, also a ruling alliance partner, at separate protest rallies in front of the National Press Club and Paltan thana committee of the Communist Party of Bangladesh at a rally in front of its central office demanded cancellation of the decision.
DLA coordinator Saiful Huq said at the rally that when price of oil decreased in the world market, the government increased price of power.
New Age correspondent in Chittagong reported that the police foiled a human chain the BNP port city unit was scheduled for forming protesting
against the price hike. The police took away banner soon after local BNP men formed a human chain in front of the Chittagong Press Club at about 10:00am.