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Left parties calls strike for Thursday

Left parties calls strike for Thursday

Bangladeshi left-leaning parties called for a half-day general strike (hartal) on Thursday (Nov. 30) to protest against an electricity price hike at retail level.

The left-leaning parties, including the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Ganatantrik Bam Morcha and Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (Basad), made the announcement of the general strike hours after the Bangladeshi Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) announced to raise retail electricity price by about 5.3 percent.

The proposed six-hour-long strike will be held from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The new price will be put into effect from December. 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 this year riding on the decline in food prices.

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

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