Bangladesh left-leaning parties protest power price hike

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-30 19:19:14|Editor: liuxin
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DHAKA, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh's left-leaning parties staged demonstrations in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country Thursday amid a nationwide half-day strike protesting the power price hike.

Hundreds of activists of the parties with banners and placards in their hands paraded the main city thoroughfares since Thursday morning while chanting slogans in support of their demands.

Hours after the Bangladeshi Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) decided to raise retail electricity price by about 5.3 percent Nov. 23, the left-leaning parties, including the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Ganatantrik Bam Morcha and Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (Basad), called for a half-day strike on Nov. 30 to protest against the electricity price hike at retail level.

The six-hour-long strike from 6:00 a.m. local time (0000 GMT) to noon (0600 GMT) ended peacefully. No untoward incident was reported.

Protesters said the power price hike would further instigate the inflation which just eased from September's 6.12 percent to 6.04 percent in October riding on the decline in food prices.

The retail price of electricity was raised after about two years. In August 2015 Bangladesh hiked retail electricity prices by 2.97 percent.

Government officials, however, said the electricity price hike is inevitable, as it reduces subsidy burden on the state-run electricity distribution companies.

The new price will be put into effect from December.