The government's move to increase fuel prices by over 50% could have been avoided with the savings of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), says Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
CPD Research Director Khandaker Golam Moazzem made the observation during a discussion titled "Record Fuel Price Hike in Bangladesh: Could It Be Avoided" in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Echoing the same, CPD Executive Director Dr Fahmida Khatun said that the fuel price increase will further deteriorate the country's inflation situation.
The civil society think-tank has urged the government to reconsider and revise the prices of diesel, petrol and octane. It also made some recommendations to mitigate the ongoing crisis.
They are –
- Increasing the number of goods sold in the open market
- Increasing the number of ration cards
- Monitor BPC to control corruption and end mismanagement
- Provide incentives for small businesses
Attending the event, former agriculture ministry secretary Anwar Farooq said, "Due to the rise in the price of diesel, the cost of cultivation per bigha of land will increase by Tk1,000.
"The amount totals to some Tk4,800 crore for the Boro season.
"To encourage farmers and ensure food security, the government needs to provide very good prices."
The government on Friday increased fuel oil prices by 42.5% to 51.6%, highest in 20 years, dealing a big blow to people already overwhelmed by skyrocketing prices of essential goods amid record inflation.
The Energy and Mineral Resources Division hiked diesel and kerosene prices by Tk34 per litre to Tk114 and octane and petrol prices by Tk46 per litre to Tk135.
The new prices took effect at 12am on Saturday, said a press release of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources issued Friday night.