CAB to go to High Court against fuel price adjustment

The Consumers’ Association of Bangladesh will appeal to the High Court if it does not find an administrative remedy for the “unlawful adjustment of fuel prices”, including those of kerosene and diesel.

CAB Senior Vice President and Energy Advisor Shamsul Alam said so on Monday during a virtual press conference.

When asked what the CAB would do if the authorities raised fuel oil prices, he replied, “A civil society like ours cannot take to the streets to protest. We will inform the departments concerned of this problem as part of the administrative procedures. If the move doesn’t work out, we have the option of going to the High Court.

Prof. Shamsul Alam added that they were not talking about fuel oil prices rising or falling, they were talking about how the energy and mineral resources division and the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation were raising fuel prices.

“They are illegally raising fuel prices and that cannot be accepted,” he said.

The energy adviser said the BPC and the energy and mineral resources division should present their price hike proposals to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission which would hold a public hearing before raising the prices. fuel oil.

“In the public hearing, the opinion of all stakeholders gains importance, but by ignoring the BERC, the duo raises prices on their own,” observed the energy expert.

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said on Friday that the government is considering higher oil prices from next month, United News of Bangladesh reported on Friday.

“But the decision in this regard will follow a discussion with all stakeholders, including operators in the transport sector,” Nasrul added.

He said the state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation had suffered a loss of Tk 90 crore per day and it was likely that a diesel and octane price adjustment would be made.

Shamsul, however, said the energy sector had fallen into anarchy since the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation, the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission, the Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation, better known as Petrobangla, were managed by bureaucrats.

“Our main task is to free organizations from the clutches of bureaucrats, otherwise consumer rights to fuel cannot be established,” he added.

The energy expert also made a four-point request on behalf of the CAB.

The four are – BERC will adjust the prices of diesel, kerosene, gasoline and heating oil instead of the energy and mineral resources division or PCB; The Comptroller and Auditor General of Bangladesh will conduct a thorough review of BPC’s procurement of liquefied fuel from the international market, bureaucrats in the energy and mineral resources division or the ministry should be removed from the board of administration of organizations approved to establish the rule of law in the energy sector, the former president of the BPC and the secretary/principal secretary of the energy and mineral resources division should be brought to justice for having adjusted the prices of diesel and kerosene in violation of the BERC law.

Shamsul said everyone was aware of BPC’s corruption and that the CAB had demanded an impartial audit of BPC’s income and purchases through an international-level auditing firm.

He added that the BERC could only adjust the prices of LPG, diesel, gasoline, kerosene, heating oil and other petroleum products in accordance with the law.

The CAB official mentioned that BERC had previously adjusted LPG prices following the High Court order.

Badrul Imam, Professor in the Department of Geology, University of Dhaka, M. M. Akash, Professor of Economics, AU, and Mubasser Hussain, Architect of the National Committee for the Elimination of Complaints, spoke at the conference online press.

Eleanor C. William