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Apparel manufacturers: Halt gas price hike to sustain the industry

  • Published at 03:03 pm March 20th, 2019
Large industries, particularly textile mills and manufacturing units are highly dependent on captive power plant, run by gas, for uninterrupted power supply Dhaka Tribune

The presidents of BGMEA, BTMA, and BKMEA expressed concerns about the proposed gas price hike

Manufacturers from Bangladesh's apparel and textile sectors have urged the government not to hike gas prices, so that the garment industry is sustainable.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Md Siddiqur Rahman pressed the concerns at a press conference at the BGMEA office in Dhaka, on Wednesday.

Mohammed Ali Khokon, president of Bangladesh Textile Mill Association (BTMA) and Monsur Ahmed, acting president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), were also present at the conference. 

"There is no alternative to gas in running this industry," the BGMEA president said. "Due to this price hike, employment will go down, as there will be no entrepreneurs."

For the sake of the apparel industry, he requested the government formulate an energy policy and prioritize the sector.

Also Read- Bakhrabad, Jalalabad too propose over 200% gas price hike for power, fertilizer plants

"In order for this sector to survive, the government must keep it out of the purview of the gas price hike that has been proposed by the gas distribution companies," the president said.  

In a recent development, gas distribution companies have proposed increasing the price of gas from Tk7.76 per cubic feet to Tk15.70 per cubic feet or 93% for industry, while it proposed raising it by 63% to Tk15.70 per cubic feet from Tk9.62 per cubic feet, for captive power.

The authority also proposed an increase of gas prices by 17% to Tk20 per cubic feet from Tk17.04 per cubic feet, for commercial use.

The government wants to raise the price of gas to reduce the burden of subsidies as it currently has to buy a cubic meter of LNG at Tk32 and sells it at Tk7.17.

According to Petro Bangla data, in the last fiscal year, Bangladesh produced 966684.63 mmcm of gas.