• Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019
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HC asks BERC to explain LPG pricing measures within a month

  • Published at 11:33 pm June 18th, 2019
High Court-HC-court
File photo of the Bangladesh Supreme Court Dhaka Tribune

The order comes after authorities concerned failed to respond to a ruling issued in 2016

The High Court has ordered the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) to submit a report within one month about the measures it has taken to fix the price of bottled liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

The bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan, and KM Kamrul Kader passed the order after hearing a supplementary petition on Tuesday.

Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua represented the petition, while Deputy Attorney General ABM Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar stood for the state.

Jyotirmoy said, a writ was filed about the LPG price hike in 2016, prompting the High Court to issue a rule asking the authorities concerned why it will not term illegal the inaction about the pricing. But the rule remained unanswered ever since.

The latest order came after the Consumers' Association of Bangladesh moved the court as the energy regulator is yet to respond to the ruling.

The officials concerned, and even Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, energy adviser to the prime minister, have long been saying that they are not inclined to setting prices of the petroleum product, so as to “keeping the market competitive.”

After LPG price saw a Tk200 hike in the last six months of 2018, Energy Secretary Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem on December 13 last year, at a press briefing said, the Energy and Mineral Resources Division had no plan to fix the prices, as it was BERC’s responsibility to do so.

LPG consumption in the country has witnessed a whopping four-fold growth over the past three years, with households, commercial entities, and vehicles increasingly relying on the fuel.

Around one million tons of LPG was likely consumed by the end of 2018, up from around 250,000 tons in 2015.

The volume of LPG consumption was around 400,000 and 650,000 tons in 2016 and 2017, respectively, according to stakeholders and market players.