Recently Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) is holding a day-long public hearing on the 65.95% bulk electricity price hike proposal.
According to textile and apparel industry owners, that is not a wise decision because amid an economic struggle that would keep industries under pressure.
In a statement, the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) said the electricity price hike in the current context would be considered a suicidal move by the government.
Also, the bulk electricity price hike will have a multifaceted negative effect on the agriculture, service and manufacturing sectors and economic development.
According to Kutubuddin Ahmed, chairman of Envoy Textile, “If the government takes any such decision that will create another challenge for the industries.”
Again, when the global apparel market is going to stabilize, the Russia-Ukraine war has put all under big inflation pressure, if this war prolongs for a few months, it will adversely affect our main export destination.
Actually, the bulk price of per unit electricity is Tk5.17. But the BPDB proposed to Berc for increasing the price to Tk8.58 per unit.
So, BPDB will face a huge deficit in the bulk electricity purchase and sale unless the bulk price is increased considering the production cost.
The Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) and other stakeholders have strongly opposed any increase in gas tariff considering the current scenario of the textile and other sectors to sustain their competitiveness.
The finance ministry under the initiative of the finance secretary has decided to increase captive power’s gas tariff per cubic meter to Tk28 from Tk13.85cm at present.
In such a situation, an increase in captive power’s gas tariff to Tk28 will increase the unit cost to .50 cents resulting in a huge rise in production cost and will allow entry of unauthorized yarn, an increase in import, and finally crippling the textile industry.
Monsoor Ahmed, chief executive officer (CEO), BTMA, “We are trying to raise the issue with the authorities concerned to fix a reasonable increase in gas tariff to sustain the textile industry.”
Besides that, the cost of production of goods in the country has already increased due to high shipping costs, the Russia-Ukraine war, and the rising dollar including the rising raw material prices.