Bangladesh: Petroleum fuel prices raised by over 40 percent

The Bangladesh Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral resources announced a steep hike in prices of petroleum products between 40 to 51 percent last night. In a press release issued on Friday night, the ministry announced that the retail price of diesel would be Taka 114 per litre, kerosene Taka 114 per litre, Octane Taka 135 per litre and petrol Taka 130 per litre. Before the hike, diesel and kerosene sold at Taka 80 per litre, Octane at Taka 89 per litre and Petrol at Taka 86 per litre. The hike marks a rise of over 42 percent in the price of diesel and kerosene and over 51 percent in the price of petrol and octane.

This is the highest price rise in Bangladesh ever. Earlier, the government had increased the price of diesel from Taka 65 per litre to Taka 80 per litre in November last year. Petrol price was hiked in 2013 which was later reduced in April 2016.

The Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources justified the price rise saying that the oil prices are adjusted regularly in various countries including the neighbouring India. It said diesel and petrol were selling at a much higher price in Kolkata since May this year compared to the price in Bangladesh. The increase in price of petroleum products in Bangladesh will discourage oil smuggling, said the press release.

The Ministry pointed out that the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) suffered a loss of over Taka 8014 crore between February and July this year in the sale of fuel oil. The fuel price rationalisation had become necessary due to the international market situation.

The Minister of State for Electricity, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said that the government did not raise the price of petroleum products as long as it was possible. He said that if the situation normalises, the price of fuel oil will be revised accordingly.

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