Public hearing under pressure of LOAB for reviewing the price of LP gas after 3 months!

Special Correspondent,, Dhaka
ছবি: সংগৃহীত

ছবি: সংগৃহীত

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Under pressure from Loab (LPG Operators Association of Bangladesh), BERC announced a new date for public hearing. The public hearing will be held on July 7 at the BIAM Auditorium. If the hearing does not end on that day, the hearing will continue the next day.

If for some reason a direct public hearing is not possible, it has announced to hold a virtual hearing. If any person or organization wants to take part in the hearing, BERC has requested to register their names by June 30.

Ignoring Loab's claim, BERC announced the price of LP gas for the first time on April 12. At the public hearing, Loab offered Tk. 1259. Rejecting Loab's offer, BERC announced a price of Tk. 975 per 12 kg cylinder. Rebutting Loab's argument, BERC then said that you are selling at a much lower price than you want. We have checked the market and saw that it is being sold at Tk. 950 to Tk. 1050. For this reason, we do not see any rationale for your proposal.

The day after the announcement, Loab sent a letter to BERC again demanding an increase in prices. But in response to the letter, the BERC said there was no way to increase LPG's profit margin without a public hearing. At present, if the price of LPG fluctuates only in the international market, that amount will be more or less. The special committee is coordinating it in the light of the public hearing order. If there is an objection to the rate announced on April 12, the licensee has to apply. With this, BERC announced the price for two more months. The last bid was announced on May 31. There, the BERC chairman said that on May 30, six companies had applied for a public hearing to increase prices. We will test and take action.

Meanwhile, there have been reports of increase in LP gas prices across the country without any logical reason. It has been alleged that the LPG Operators Association of Bangladesh (LOAB) is working behind the scenes. As prices fall in the international market, the BERC has reduced the retail price to Tk. 842. According to BERC, it has been bought and sold at a lower price for a few days. But on June 7, it was reported that the wholesale price was Tk. 890 to 1000 at a time.

Sumon Mia, a retailer in Rangpur, told that he bought the cylinder last week for Tk. 840-870. I went to buy it on Tuesday (June 8) and the price ranged from Tk. 890 to Tk. 920. Rising prices have also been reported in Barguna. Because the people concerned have commented that what was found in the investigation is very scary. Loab has proposed to increase the price, the price has been increased by syndicating to prove its rationale.

On April 12, BERC announced the price of LP gas for the first time. It was then said that the bid announced by the Saudi state company Aramco was based on the base price per month, i.e. the net price of gas. If the price of CP goes up and down, the price will be adjusted every month. The March CP (Saudi Aramco contract price) was 625 dollars and 595 dollars per tonne of propane butane, respectively. The following month, April, was 570 dollars and 530 dollars respectively. The maximum retail price was set at Tk. 842, down from 495 dollars and 475 dollars in May.