Petition seeks stay order on govt decision | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 05, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:20 AM, July 05, 2019

Gas Price Hike

Petition seeks stay order on govt decision

A Supreme Court (SC) lawyer yesterday filed a writ petition with the High Court, seeking an order of stay on the government’s decision of hiking gas price.

Advocate Eunus Ali Akond submitted the petition to the HC -- also challenging the government notification on gas price hike.

In the petition, he prayed to the HC to issue a rule asking the authorities concerned of the government to explain why decision of increasing gas price should not be declared illegal.

The government decision is illegal and unconstitutional as Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) did not hold any public hearing and issue any notice through newspapers before the gas tariff hike, the SC lawyer said in the petition.

He also claimed that the government increases gas price almost every year, which is unreasonable.

Secretary to the ministry of energy and mineral resources and the BERC chairman and its secretary have been made respondents to the rule.

Advocate Eunus told The Daily Star that the HC may hold hearing on the petition on July 7.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB) recently filed a petition with the HC, claiming that Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla) has 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 if Petrobangla had proportionately and lawfully utilised this huge amount of money, gas supply cost could be controlled to a reasonable limit 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 has gone up every year.

CAB in the petition prayed to the HC to pass necessary orders in this regard.

Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, lawyer for the petitioners, yesterday placed the petition before the HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader.

The bench set July 9 for hearing the petition after Petrobangla’s lawyer Advocate Mohammad Ashraf Uddin Bhuiyan prayed for an adjournment, saying his client will submit a petition before the court opposing CAB’s petition.

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