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29 January, 2022 05:03:01 PM
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Textile millers oppose plan for gas price hike

UNB, Dhaka
Textile millers oppose plan for gas price hike

Textile millers have urged the government not to raise the gas prices, saying it will raise production cost.

They urged the government to address the nagging gas crisis through raising local productions.

Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, a representative body of the local textile mills, made the call while addressing a press conference at a hotel in the city on Saturday.

 “If the gas prices are raised further, it will have a big impact on the local textile manufacturers which have been supplying backward linkages to the export oriented readymade garment (RMG) industries,” said BTMA president Mohammad Ali Khokon.

He claimed that if gas prices are raised, it will escalate their production cost by 25 percent which will make the local textiles non-competitive in the global market. 

He alleged that currently local textile millers have been experiencing a severe gas crisis which pushed them to halt their productions.

“Due to the gas crisis for the last three months, we apprehend, textile productions will incur a loss of $1.5 billion in their supply to the local market while $2 billion for the export market—the RMG sector”, he added.

The BTMA also demanded a long term energy policy of 5 years from the government so that they could design a long term plan in their production on the basis of that policy.

 “We want a business-friendly energy policy,” said Khokon.

 

BTMA Vice Presidents Fazlul Hoque and Abdullah Al Mamun, directors Md Mosharaf Hossain and Saleudh Zaman Khan were also present at the press conference.

 

Khokon alleged that Titas Gas, despite being profitable according to its balance sheet’s figure, has moved a proposal to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission to raise gas price which is totally unfair.

He said only 8 percent of the Titas Gas company’s share is held by the public while remaining 92 percent by the state.

But Titas gas is desperate to raise gas prices in order to protect the 8 percent public shareholders interest, he alleged.

The BTMA president said that they have to operate captive power plants having 1700 MW capacity to ensure uninterrupted power supply to their mills against the backdrop of the failure of the authorities concerned to ensure smooth supply.

He said currently textile mills have to pay Tk 13.85 per unit of gas which was last raised in 2019.

 

The BTMA leaders said they have been facing a severe crisis in the last two years due to the Covid-19 situation.

They said that in the year 2020 they could not do business . “In 2021 we had to go through a recovery process and we are planning this year to make profit. The move to raise gas prices will come as a big blow to this plan”, said the BTMA president.

Referring to the experts view, he said the current gas crisis could be managed through increasing local production by installing compressors at the gas fields.

 

Khokon also demanded installation of  Electrical Volume Corrector (EVC) gas meters at the textile mills to ensure proper billing.

Textile mills have to pay a higher price than that of their consumption due to the non-existence of the EVC meters.

“We could not get the correct reading from the gas distribution companies as existing meters are not capable of providing correct reading”, he said.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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