At a refuelling station at Paribagh in the capital, Arifur Rahman watches the digits quickly climb on the pump: Tk100, Tk200, Tk300. The numbers showing how much octane he is getting in his motorbike fuel tank rise, too. But much more slowly. Painfully slowly.
"I will have to spend Tk2,000 more every month now for fuel alone. Besides, there will be fuel-led commodity price shock and all that," Arifur, a 40-something private company's senior executive, sounded hapless.
To continue riding the motorbike to go to his office at Niketan, he said his family will have to skimp on daily essentials further.
Limited-income people like Arifur, who managed to buy a motorcycle or a car with their hard-earned money, strategise other cost-cutting measures that include reducing trips, cutting back on protein intake and switching to rickshaws for now.
Some even mull selling their vehicles, as refuelling station staff said he did not witness such agony and agitation among the customers in his 30-year career until now.
"They keep asking us the same question: why did the government abruptly raise the fuel prices to a historic high," said Hanif, a refuelling assistant at Purbachal Traders petrol pump at Paribagh.
"Drivers of the ride-sharing companies are showing more fury," he told The Business Standard.
On Saturday, Bangladesh raised fuel prices by around 50%, a move that will trim the country's subsidy burden but put more pressure on inflation that is already running above 7%.
The price for petrol has been increased by 51.2% to Tk130 taka a litre, octane gasoline by 51.7% to Tk135 and diesel and kerosene by 42.5%. The government last raised diesel and kerosene prices by 23% in November last year which in turn prompted a nearly 30% rise in transport fares.
"We have nothing to do now, we will have to accept the situation," said Ayub Hossain, an imam of a Hatirpool mosque, while refuelling his motorbike at the Purbachal Traders petrol pump.
"I am very angry and irritated by the price hike move by the government. But the problem is the government does not listen to us."
Ayub said his belt-tightening measures include no "less-necessary travels" for now and cutting back on protein intake.
Like Ayub, housewife Akila Haque at Meghna Model Service Centre petrol pump at Shahbagh area she will not go on any long trips with her car for now.
"What else can I do," she questioned.
Anwarul Azim, a businessman also came to the refuelling station, said he bought the car to drop and pick his kids from school.
"But I may not be able to maintain the car cost anymore," he told TBS.
Preferring not to be named, a top executive at a private company said his wife uses a car to go to her office at Shyamoli from their Adabar residence. The trip burns around Tk300 fuel per day.
"On the other day, we were talking about leaving the car, as the trip by a rickshaw would cost only Tk100," he added.
Meanwhile, well off people who have been using diesel-run small generators during the scheduled blackouts said they would also ration the usage of those small plants as the jump in fuel prices escalates the cost.