Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Sunday said that the government had no other alternative to raising the fuel price offset the losses amid global energy crunch.
The government will adjust the fuel price accordingly if the price decreases in the international market, said during a briefing at his residence.
Quader, who is also the minister of Road Transport and Bridges, said that owing to the Russia-Ukraine war, the price of fuel oil became unstable in the world market. This, in turn, has affected the exchange rate of the US dollar against the Bangladesh currency forcing the state-run Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) to count losses.
The minister said that due to the high price of fuel oil in neighbouring countries, there was a risk of smuggling from Bangladesh.
BPC, he said, incurred a loss of about Tk 9,000 crore from February 22 to July 22 because of the global fuel price hike.
The AL leader highlighted the current pricing of fuel oil in different countries and said that the price of diesel per litre in Myanmar is TK112.56 in India TK114. 49, in Sri Lanka TK 117.49 , in Arab Emirates TK122, in Nepal TK127.82, in Singapore TK189.78 and TK260.75 in Hong Kong.
He said the government had earlier adjusted the price on November 4, 2021 and before that on April 25, 2016, it had reduced the price of diesel after it fell in the international market. In the future too, if the price falls in the global market, the price will be adjusted by reducing the price in the domestic market.
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Quader admitted that the fuel price increase will impact various sectors of the economy. The government is aware of the and it is trying to keep the negative affects at a low level.
He said that according to experts, the price of energy will start stabilizing in the world market soon, raising hope for Bangladesh.
He said the fuel price rise has led to the increase in the passenger fare in public buses.
The minister warned that legal action would be taken if any transport operator charges more than the coordinated fare.
He responded to BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir's allegation that the government has turned into a monster.
In a counterattack he accused BNP of turning the country into a monster by killing people, destroying public property and burning people alive.
Quader stated that those who started politics with killings are the real monsters.
He also said that those who were champions of corruption find the corruption now in all government activities.