Despite the increase in demand for gas in the country, natural gas reserves are becoming limited. To meet this demand, the government is importing high priced liquefied natural gas (LNG). At present, the price of this product is dependent on upward imports in the world market. The cost of importing LNG is also increasing. According to the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources, in the current fiscal year 2020-21, LNG imports will cost Tk 16,000 crore.
The country will import 6 cargoes carrying LNG in the current financial year. In the meantime, 35 cargoes have reached the country. Still waiting for 41 cargo imports. These cargoes will cost a total of Tk 18,552 crore including import cost, re-gasification cost, VAT, AIT and port charges. Besides, the Chittagong Port Authority will have to pay another Tk 140 crore for the operation charge of the terminal to supply LNG. In all, the target for LNG imports this year has been set at Tk 18,792 crore.
On the other hand, the income from the sale of imported LNG at a high price has been estimated at Tk 14,060 crore. There will be a deficit of Tk 2,612 crore against the expenditure. The government will subsidize the sale of LNG at low prices in the country. Meanwhile, the Energy Department has requested the Finance Department to release the subsidy on an emergency basis in favor of Petrobangla.