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Textile millers call for reverting gas tariff to pre-hike level

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Primary textile millers urged the government on Tuesday to revert the gas tariff to its pre-hike level, saying the sector is facing a severe gas shortage despite the price hike.

They said the government increased the gas price in January last year promising uninterrupted supply of the energy.

They also demanded that the concerned authorities address the crisis related to US dollar and take required measures so that businesses do not face any harassment by Customs officials.

The observations were made at a view exchange meeting organised by Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) at its Gulshan office in the city.

Presided over by BTMA President Mohammad Ali Khokon, the meeting was attended by leaders and representatives from Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association (BCMA) and Bangladesh Steel Manufacturers Association (BSMA), apart from the textile millers, according to meeting sources.

"We are in severe crisis due to poor supply of gas. We discussed the issue with our member mills and other sectors including cement and steel manufacturing sectors," he told the FE after the meeting.

The meeting also discussed the dollar crisis issue as their working capital had shrunken due to the gap between the rates at which US dollar was being bought and sold, he said adding that as a result they could not buy raw materials.

"All are affecting the business negatively," he said and demanded an immediate solution to the problems.

Besides, they were facing a number of difficulties related to customs, the meeting was informed.

Meeting sources said due to the severe gas shortage, the machinery of textile mills was getting damaged and they were not being able to supply the required yarn and fabrics to the export-oriented garment industry, while fabric processing plants were closed as they could not run boilers.

Though Petrobangla had assured them of an uninterrupted gas supply after the price hike, more than a year had passed since then but there was no improvement in the gas supply situation, they noted.

Mr Khokon said they would sit with the leaders of FBCCI today (Wednesday) to find a way out and decide their next course of action.

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