BERC jacks up LPG price by Tk 266 per 12kg cylinder03 February 2023
Staff Reporter :
The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has jacked up LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) prices by Tk 266 per 12 kg cylinder at the consumer level.
BERC announced the new price on Thursday, saying that it would be effective from Thursday evening.
After the hike, a 12-kg cylinder of LPG would now cost Tk 1,498 in February. The price was Tk 1,232 in January.
The price hike came at a time when masses are facing high inflation amid spiraling food and commodity prices in domestic market.
BERC said the new price would be effective from this evening.
Experts say any increase in the price of cooking gas cylinders at a time of high inflation will force people to cut back on other priorities.
"Different households make different choices on where to cut spending," said economist Dr Ahsan H. Mansur, adding, "Households may reduce food intake, cut medical expenses and stop paying for their children's coaching classes to cope with the rising cost of essential commodities including as cooking gas cylinders."
"Such choices will have negative long-term consequences on households," he said.
The price hike of LPG gas cylinder came as a big shock for the household consumers because just two days ago, the government hiked the electricity prices by 5 per cent at the retail level.
"Soaring food and fuel cost have made already made our live measurable. Latest price hike of cooking gas cylinder will put further pressure to households struggling to cope with the soaring cost of everything," Moly Akhtar, a hosewife, told The New Nation yesterday.
The BERC announces the price of LPG every month in coordination with the prices of propane and butane of Saudi Aramco Company to be consistent with the international market.
Considering the Saudi Contract price of propane and butane - raw materials of LPG - at $790 per tonne, the regulatory commission adjusted the price, the BERC chairman added.
Last month, as per the Saudi CP, the LPG price was $599.59 per metric ton while the current month's CP was set at $790 per MT with increase by $190.25 per MT, he added.
Bangladeshi LPG operators normally import their products from Middle-East Market on the basis of Saudi CP.
As per the BERC decision, the price of "auto gas" (LPG used for motor vehicles) also increased to Tk 69.71 per litre including VAT from previous Tk 57.41 per litre, up by Tk 12.3 per litre.
The price of LPG, marketed by state-owned LP Gas Company, will remain the same as it is locally produced with a market share of less than 5 per cent.
The LPG price went up to Tk 1,439 (per 12kg cylinder), in the local market, following the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February last year. But this month of February witnessed the highest price since Russia-Ukraine began.
Normally, the BERC chairman announces the LPG price at the beginning of every month through a virtual press briefing.
This time, there was no press briefing as four members out of five including the BERC chairman recently retired from their jobs after expiry of their contracts with the government.
Earlier on 2 January, the price of a 12kg cylinder provided by private operators was cut by Tk65 to Tk1,232 for January.
The BERC lowered the price of a 12kg LPG cylinder by dragging the price to Tk102.70 per kg from Tk108.09.