Bangladesh’s poor suffer as energy prices surge

In Bangladesh as a whole, the government raised the retail price of energy by an average of 5% per unit in early January. Within three weeks, the government hiked retail electricity prices by 5% again in early February. The government also hiked Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), which is now the main household fuel, by a whopping 22% on 2 February 2023. Meanwhile, the country faced frequent power cuts even in the winter season, as the required electricity could not be produced due to the ongoing dollar crisis. Despite the public hue and cry, the controversial Rampal Coal Power Plant, which was built right beside the UNESCO World Heritage site The Sundarbans, ceased production after facing a coal shortage. Since energy cost is a key component of everyday consumer expenditure, the fresh hike in the price of electricity and gas is expected to raise galloping inflation to a still higher level.