The people were going to bed yesterday with frustration cautioning another price hike of daily commodities and essentials due to government declaration to increasing fuel prices abnormally last night. The government increased the price of fuel by a jump from BDT 34 to BDT 46 per litre suddenly. The diesel price was increased by BDT 34 to BDT 114 per litre, octane by BDT 46 to Tk.135 and petrol by BDT 44 to BDT 130. Price of fuels has increased in international market and the counties including South Asia are adjusting it regularly; Bangladesh is also adjusting it now too for lowering the loss of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation.
When price of diesel was 170 dollars, we did not adjust the price then. I was waiting, hoping for the situation to improve. In general, BPC starts incurring losses whenever fuel price goes higher than 79 dollars per barrel. The price went up as high as 170 dollars a barrel. BPC then told me, “Sir, we want to adjust the prices.” If we adjusted the prices then, diesel price would go up from Tk 80 per litre to Tk 160 per litre. I told BPC to wait a while and then adjust the prices. BPC has already incurred losses of over Tk 8,000 crore from its own funds.
– Nasrul Hamid, The state minister for power, energy and mineral resources. Courtesy: The Daily Star
Due to the Russia-Ukraine war, the price of fuel oil became unstable in the world market, as a result the exchange rate between dollar and taka was also affected, in which BPC had to count losses. Due to the high price of fuel oil in neighboring countries, there was a risk of smuggling. BPC’s loss from February to July this year was about Tk 9000 crore due to price hikes in the world market. It is in this context that the government has been forced to adjust the prices.
– Obaidul Quader, The Road Transport and Bridges Minister, Courtesy: The Prothom Alo
A few days ago, the ministry of agriculture increased the fertilizer (Urea) prices by BDT 6 to BDT 22 per kg. Hearing to soaring the fertilizer prices, the feeder folks of the nation, the farmers dumbfounded and beat their foreheads for becoming a misfortunate of the nation. The ministry of agriculture defended by arguing that the current price of urea fertilizer is BDT 81 in international market and the government will have to provide a subsidy of BDT 59 per kg even after increasing the prices by BDT 6. By selling the grain at less than cost of production the farmers purchase irrigation in rainy session with increasing prices, now they have to pay more prices for fertilizer. Who will calculate the subsidies given by farmers each year for increasing agricultural production to ensure food security of the nation?
“Agriculture will be affected due to increase in fuel oil prices. But the farmers will cultivate even it it is difficult. Because the farmers are sacrificers. They also cultivate by selling their wife’s neclances and earrings. They sell cows and goats and buy fertilizers to grow crops.”
– Dr. Abdur Razzak, Minister of Agriculture
Courtesy: Bangla Tribune