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Traders make people hostage raising LPG price on the excuse of supply crunch

03 February 2023

Retailers are not following the fixed price of bottled liquefied petroleum gas using the excuse of a supply crunch and a dated pricing method. For January, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission set the price of a 12kg cylinder, the most common form of marketing the fuel at Tk 1,232, but the consumers are not getting LPG at that price. In different areas of Dhaka city, 12 kg LPG cylinders are selling for Tk 1,500 to Tk 1,750.
The skyrocketing price has also impacted small businesses like tea stalls due to higher production costs to customers. The importers and distributors blamed the higher price on the middlemen and an incompatible price method of BERC. Businesses said there is a supply chain disruption as they are unable to open letters of credit and the middlemen exploited the situation.
There were lots of problems in the pricing process of BERC. They told us that they will hold a fresh public hearing to form a new formula, but they have not. In the meantime, the price of LPG increased in the global market in February. BERC has been receiving complaints from consumers of higher prices than the rate fixed. The market for LPG boomed after the government in 2020 decided not to provide fresh gas connections to households.
Market monopoly by a few conglomerates in the LPG market and the inexistence of the government made people hostage and fuel insecurity for millions. Every sector of the country is in a tight grip as the economy is near failure. The citizens earlier compromised democracy for economic development, however, the surprising bubbles of economic development burst out and made people pinched. Citizens cannot express their plights as they had to earlier compromise their rights and freedom. The future of Bangladesh is blink, the fairy tales of development are on paper and people are fighting to secure their future, fight for life.

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