Bangladesh Garment Buying House Association (BGBA) recently requested the government to review the hiked gas price and bring it down to a rational level to help sustain the readymade garment (RMG) industry’s competitiveness.
The BGBA in a statement on Sunday termed the hike unusual and said such high gas price would raise the production cost, resulting in loss of competitive edge of the local RMG sector.
Low production cost is the main reason for which Bangladesh is sustaining its export growth to the USA and European Union (EU) despite the fact that Covid-19 and the war between Russia and Ukraine have severely affected the world, including Bangladesh, the BGBA President Kazi Iftekher Hossain said in the statement.
In the present economic situation of the US and EU, it would be hard to sell local RMG products at a higher rate, he noted.
Globally, there are incidents of job cuts due to adoption of technology, Covid-19 and the ongoing war have left an impact on other industries too.
On the other hand, the local textile and clothing industry has created employment opportunities for about 10 million people, the BGBA leader said.
Hossain urged the government to bring down the enhanced gas price for continuity of employment and business opportunities in the country.
In an official order on January 18, the government increased gas tariff to Tk30 per cubic metre for small and cottage industries, and captive, small and merchant power plants from Tk10.78 and Tk16 respectively.
Big industries are to pay bigger gas bills by 150.41% to Tk30 per cubic meter from previous Tk11.98 per cubic meter.
Bangladesh fetched US$22.99 billion marking 15.56% growth during the first half of the current fiscal FY23.
The overall exports reached $27.31 billion during the July-December period of FY23.