Households have to pay Tk 175 more for gas from this month, as the energy regulator raised tariffs for all users, saying the move would help the government bear the expenses of importing liquefied natural gas. According to the new rates, households using a single burner will pay Tk 925 instead of Tk 750 a month. Those using a double burner will pay Tk 975 in place of Tk 800. Monowar Islam, chairman of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC), announced the price hike at his office in the capital. The weighted average gas tariff for all users, including households, industries and businesses, will rise by 32.8 percent. The government is spending about Tk 35 for each cubic metre of imported LNG, whereas the cost of locally produced gas is only about Tk 5 for the equivalent amount, according to BERC.
At least 204 people fell victim to “extrajudicial killings” by law enforcement agencies across the country in the first six months of 2019, according to rights group Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK). Among them, 59 were killed in crossfire with Rab, 92 were killed in crossfire with police while 12 with DB, one with joint forces, one with Coast Guard, and 28 with BGB. The findings were prepared based on the reports of top national newspapers in last six months from January. “Two of them were killed due to police torture while two in police firing, three in BGB firing, and one committed suicide in police custody. Besides, two bullet-hit bodies were recovered and another died from illness in Rab custody,” an ASK report on the human rights situation in the country stated. According to the same report, at least 630 women were raped, 37 were killed after rape, and 7 rape victims committed suicide during the same period.
Remittance inflow hit record $16.4 billion in the immediate past fiscal 2018-2019, as appreciation of the dollar and devaluation of Taka in the country stimulated expatriates to remit money through legal channels. Previously, Bangladesh received highest $15.32 billion remittance from expatriates in the fiscal 2014-2015. The inflow of remittance in FY19 was 9.5 percent or $1.42 billion higher than the amount received in FY18, $14.98 billion. Appreciation of the dollar in the country’s local market against the taka was a major stimulus to expatriates for sending more remittance through legal channels.The government has allocated Tk 3,060 crore in the budget for the fiscal year of 2019-20 to provide two percent incentive for remittance receipts and to encourage the expatriate workers to send money through legal channels.
Local ride-sharing startup Pathao underwent a massive downsizing. According to several sources, nearly three hundred mid to top-level employees including from departments like Pathao Food and Ride Core Service were handed their letters of termination. Pathao insiders blamed investors backing out from the upcoming investment round, keeping only “a few months’ worth of the reserve” to run the company. The tension in Pathao office started to run high when employees noticed the heightened presence of security personnel in the office this week. All sorts of internal communication tools were blocked and the employees who were about to be terminated were separated. After handing over the termination letter, the employees were asked to leave the premises ‘immediately’. The downsizing of the workforce comes at a time when the government was about to issue a licence for the ride-hailing companies operating in the country.