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PM defends gas price hike again, slams protesters

  • Published at 02:01 am July 12th, 2019
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina-Focus Bangla
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addresses parliament on Thursday, July 11, 2019 Focus Bangla

The prime minister says 75% hike in gas price is needed in reality

Mentioning that gas price in Bangladesh is much less than other countries, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said those who are demonstrating against the recent tariff hike were not taking the real situation into account.

"Those who're waging movement don't think about the real situation or they don't see our development. This is unfortunate," she said, while delivering her valedictory speech in the third session, or the Budget Session, of 11th parliament, reports UNB.

The prime minister said in fact 75% hike in gas price was needed, but the government increased it by only 32.8%. The total cost for importing per cubic feet LNG is Tk61.12, but it is being sold at Tk9.80/cf by providing huge subsidy.

"Though gas price was hiked to some extent due to LNG import, it's much less than what in other countries of the world," she said.

Refuting the claim of Deputy Leader of the opposition Raushon Ershad that gas price had been brought down in India, Hasina placed statistics comparing the gas prices between Bangladesh and India.

She told the House that the gas price for household purpose was Tk12.60/ cubic feet in Bangladesh whereas it was Rs 30-37/cf (Tk37-45) in India.

She said the gas price for industrial purpose was only Tk10.70/cf in Bangladesh against Rs 40-42/cf (Tk49-51) in India, while CNG price was Tk43/cf in Bangladesh, which is Rs 44/cf (Tk54) in India, and the gas price for commercial purpose was Tk23/cf against Rs 58-65/cf (Tk71-80) in India.

She said the government supplied both gas and electricity to people after providing a huge amount of money as subsidy.

Tougher law for rapists’ punishment

Noting that the trend of social crimes including rape, child abuse and killings has marked a rise, the prime minister said it was essential to make the relevant law tougher to provide harsher punishment to the perpetrators.

She urged men to raise voice against sexual violence against women.

She also called upon the mass media to repeatedly show the faces of rapists so that they feel ashamed.

Govt job entry age

About the age limit to enter public service, Hasina placed a number of arguments in support of keeping the current age limit unchanged.

She said a student has six to seven years in their hand to sit for the Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examination after completing a post-graduation degree.

She said one can complete post-graduation at the age of 23 and the success rate of BCS exam candidates of the 23-25 age group was higher than that of those in the 25-27 age group, and much higher than that of those aged above 29.

The prime minister said if the age limit was extended to 35 years from the existing 30, the age of a candidate would be 37 years to join the public service after completing trainings following the gazette of BCS results.

Education-friendly atmosphere

Noting the number of universities has gone up in the country, Hasina said her government wanted to turn the University Grants Commission (UGC) into a commission by enacting a new law.

She said her government could restore the education-friendly atmosphere in the universities.

Lambasting those who attacked and looted the house of vice-chancellor of Dhaka University during the quota reform movement, she said it was essential to revive the cases filed in this regard.

"It's necessary to take action against those who carried out the attack and ensure their punishment," she added.