Int'l fuel price hike raises local market price: Kamal
Apparently pointing out the fuel price hike in international market as the main reason for recent hike in domestic market, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday said that the fuel price in international market is consistently on the rise and it is not a secret matter.
"When the fuel price was less in the market, the consumers received its benefits. But, now the price has increased (in international market) and it's not a secret matter," he said.
The Finance Minister was replying to a barrage of questions virtually after chairing two separate meetings on the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP).
Since Bangladesh is not an oil producing country, it could not intervene the market quite often, Kamal said, adding: "Bangladesh is at the receiving end and there are many reasons for fuel price hike."
He, however, said that the government would remain alert so that the consumers could bear or tolerate the impacts of the fuel price hike.
Earlier on November 3, 2021, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) raised the prices of diesel and kerosene at the retail level-- to be effective from zero hours on November 4, 2021.
The prices of diesel and kerosene have been increased to Taka 80 per litre from Taka 65 indicating a 23.1 percent rise while the price of furnace oil has also been raised to Taka 62 per litre from Taka 59 which indicated 5.1 percent increase.
Kamal said the government has to earn revenue for meeting up its huge expenditure. "Without revenue, the government won't be able to implement development projects. We don't want to lag behind, we'll move forward with sharing arrangement...We will share while the rest will be borne by the government," he added.
He continued that the government did never increase the price of fuel oil abruptly while the impact of the fuel price hike could be ascertained later on.
The Finance Minister said that the government usually bears the most of the subsidy cost and then the rest is imposed on the consumers.
Asked whether the government has any plan to reconsider the recent hike in fuel price, he said if the concerned authorities have increased the price abruptly without any basis and if they have done so, then the subject would be under consideration.
Replying to another question, he said when Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) was doing hefty profit with the lower international fuel price, then they also kept lower price in the domestic market.
Mentioning that the government has to bear the most of the subsidy cost in fuel oil, Kamal said the consumers would also have to share some cost.
"The Government has to earn money to meet its huge expenditure, especially in different social safety net schemes...," he added.
The Finance Minister also informed that he would give the item-wise price hike of fuel possibly in the next meeting through which it would be possible to know how much the government would be able to bear.