The Supreme Court today asked the High Court to hear and dispose of its (HC) ruling issued over the legality of household gas price hike by July.
In the process, the Supreme Court maintained its approval on the second gas price hike this year.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division of the SC headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha passed the order following a plea moved by Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) seeking stay on the High Court order.
Previously, the Supreme Court had stayed the High Court’s order until today (June 5). After today’s ruling, the no bar to hike condition will remain in force until the disposal of the High Court rule.
The HC on February 28 stayed for six months the government's decision to enforce a further increase in gas price within a span of three months after the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) filed a petition questioning the legality of the move.
Households using double burners have been paying Tk 800 a month each from March 1 and single burners Tk 750 after the energy regulator raised gas prices for all consumers by 22.7 percent.
While announcing the gas price hike on February 23, BERC said the prices would be increased again by Tk 150 in the second phase. Therefore, the monthly gas bill for a double burner will be Tk 950 and for a single burner Tk 900 from June 1.
All other consumers such as CNG (compressed natural gas) users, commercial users, power plants, users of captive generators, fertiliser companies, industries, tea gardens and households using metres will also have to pay more due to the increase for the second time.
The two-phase increase means households and commercial users would see a 50 percent increase in their monthly gas bills this year.
Gas prices for households have been doubled over the last eight years.