Gas Price Hike: HC rejects plea for stay order | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 10, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:56 AM, July 10, 2019

Gas Price Hike: HC rejects plea for stay order

The High Court yesterday rejected the writ petition which sought a stay order on the government decision to hike the price of gas.

Following the order, the price hike will remain effective, writ petitioner Advocate Eunus Ali Akond told The Daily Star.

He said the HC bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal rejected the petition considering that it was not placed before the court properly.

The bench passed the order after Deputy Attorney General Ekramul Haque Tutul told the court that there was no violation in hiking gas price as the before the hike the authorities concerned had held mass hearing on the matter and issued a notice.

The petition, filed on July 4, sought the court’s rule asking the authorities concerned of the government to explain why the decision of increasing gas price should not be declared illegal.

On June 30, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) announced the gas price hike, resulting in households having to pay Tk 175 more for gas.

The energy regulator said the move would help the government bear the expenses of importing liquefied natural gas.

According to the new rates, households using a single burner will pay Tk 925 instead of Tk 750 a month. Those using a double burner will pay Tk 975 instead of Tk 800.

With this, gas tariff for households has more than doubled in the last decade.

Meanwhile, the HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader dropped from its hearing list another writ petition seeking necessary order against alleged irregularities and corruption in Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla).

Deputy Attorney General Abdullah-al-Mahmud Bashar told The Daily Star that he the HC bench did not disclose the reason behind dropping the petition.

Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB) recently filed the petition with the HC, claiming that Petrobangla had till now collected more than Tk 50,000 crore from consumers directly through Supplementary Duty (SD), Value Added Tax (VAT), Gas Development Fund (GDF) and Energy Security Fund.

But there is no clear account of the expenditure which could be accessed by the consumers, CAB said in the petition.

The association said had Petrobangla proportionately and lawfully utilised this money, gas supply cost could be kept reasonable and local companies would have achieved the required expertise to explore gas resources.

The organisation also said in the petition that due to corruption in the energy sector, cost of gas supply had gone up every year.

Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua appeared for the petitioner.

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