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2019-04-09 10:49:25 BdST

Gas price hike to cast negative impact on industry, employment

Leaders of a trade body on Monday expressed concern over the possible impact of gas price hike, urging the government to frame a long-term pricing policy for the primary energies like gas and oil.

The price hike of gas is more likely to cast a negative impact on industrialisation, investment and employment generation, said the newly elected BCI office bearers of Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI).

They made the observation at a press conference at a city hotel, revealing the trade body's activity plan regarding the country's economic affairs.

BCI President Anwar-Ul Alam Chowdhury (Parvez), Senior Vice-President Md Helal uddin and Vice-President Priti Chakraborty attended the conference, among others.

Mr Chowdhury said that Titas Gas proposed to increase the gas tariff by 102.85 per cent despite the transmission and distribution company making profit.

"This is totally unacceptable," he said, adding that the hike in gas price would raise the production cost in the industries.

He also said that all the industrial units, especially the small and medium enterprises, will be in danger if the gas price is increased irrationally.

As one of the oldest trade bodies, Mr Chowdhury said, BCI is now working to create new entrepreneurs, which is indispensable for achieving the country's economic goals as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"The BCI will continue to help the government create new entrepreneurs and large ones grow further," he said.

He also laid emphasis on exploring the prospects of various other sectors like light engineering in addition to the apparel sector.

"The annual global market size of light engineering products and services is around US$ 7.0 trillion, which is several times higher than that of the apparel sector worth $ 800 billion," he said.

Explaining the BCI's plan, the business leader said the trade body is now developing a dedicated web portal to promote and help new entrepreneurs.

"Many young businesspeople often face difficulties with banking, interest rate, taxation and company registration issues," he said, adding that the BCI will provide all necessary support to them.

The trade body put forward a 13-point recommendation, including tax exemption, skills development and policy support, to promote the micro and small entrepreneurs.

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