Entrepreneurs in the industrial sector agreed to pay a maximum of Tk25 for per cubic metre of gas against the government's proposal of raising the price from Tk16 to Tk40 per cubic metre.
However, they said they will only pay Tk25 per cubic metre if the government buys the gas from the spot market for a long period of time.
They opposed any kind of price hike if the gas is not purchased from the spot market.
On 15 December, Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment adviser to the prime minister, proposed to raise the gas price to Tk40 per cubic metre at a meeting held at the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida). The state minister for power and energy Nasrul Hamid was also present at the meeting.
However, the entrepreneurs present at the meeting opposed the proposed gas price.
On 20 December, the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) agreed to pay a maximum of Tk25 per cubic metre on condition of uninterrupted gas supply.
Md Jashim Uddin, president of the FBCCI, sent a letter to Salman F Rahman on the same day stating their position on the issue.
Mohammad Hatem, executive president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), told The Business Standard, "At the 15 December meeting, the energy secretary proposed to increase the gas price to Tk40 per cubic metre. But he could not explain the rationale of the proposition. We calculated the maximum price Tk22 per cubic metre."
"At the FBCCI meeting, we decided to pay some additional price if the gas is purchased from the spot market. Otherwise, there is no justification for increasing the price," he added.
Mohammad Ali Khokon, president of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), said, "A proposal has been made to increase the gas price to Tk40 per cubic metre. But we have said that the industrial sector should not be burdened by the subsidy paid for the people."
Md Mahbub Hossain, senior secretary of the energy and mineral resources division could not be reached over phone for a comment on the issue.
Last June, the price of industrial gas was increased from Tk13 per cubic metre to Tk16 per cubic metre.
However, the gas price hike in the international market after the decision created a shortage in the gas supply.
According to the BTMA, the production of its member industries declined 40% due to the gas crisis.
However, Petrobangla said that the gas supply situation has been improving for the past 10 days.
Entrepreneurs said the situation has improved as the use of ACs and electric fans has decreased due to the winter season.
BTMA president Mohammad Ali Khokon said, "Around 3,500 to 4,000 megawatts of electricity is currently being saved. But if the temperature rises, there is also concern that the situation will worsen."