The government will move to reduce fuel prices only after the international market becomes stable, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said on Wednesday.
"Fuel price is still fluctuating on the international market. Someday the price falls $20, the next day it goes up by $2," he said when reporters asked him if the government would consider lowering the fuel price following the downtrend on the global market.
Following a hike in fuel price in the global market, the government fixed the price of diesel and kerosene at Tk80 per litre on 3 November – an increase of Tk15. But oil prices on the international market soon saw a downtrend and trade organisations of the country have been demanding a revision of the domestic prices.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid recently said he would take measures to slash fuel prices if the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation makes a proposal to do so.
Foreign Minister Kamal yesterday said he agreed with the state minister's statement.
He was speaking to reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase.
Replying to a question about the government's progress against money launderers, Kamal said he did not have a list of the criminals.
The minister added that he had sought a list of money launderers from the opposition MPs.
"I cannot take any step against money launderers. Such steps will be taken by the law ministry and other agencies concerned," he said.
Asked if he had any strategy against money launderers, Kamal replied, "I do not have any [such] mechanism. The government does. If someone launders money, cases are filed against them, they are arrested and taken to jail. They are punished through the judiciary."
Kamal mentioned that he had seen media reports about the Bangladesh Bank and other agencies taking steps against some money launderers.
"Information on what measures have been taken to stop money laundering in the last two years, the progress and how many people have been punished will soon be published," he said.
Commenting on the new coronavirus variant Omicron, the finance minister said so far no one in Bangladesh has been identified to have contracted the virus.
"However, an outbreak of the virus is likely to impact the people and the economy of the country," he said, adding, "in such circumstances, steps will be taken to deal with it as have been done in the past."
Silo to be built in Khulna to store wheat
The Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP) on Wednesday has approved 12 proposals costing Tk7731 crore, including one to build a steel silo for storing wheat with a storage capacity of 76200 tonnes.
The steel silo in Khulna, costing Tk355.91 crore, will be built by Max Infrastructure Limited, Bangladesh and Altuntas.
Besides, the committee has sent back a purchase proposal by the food ministry to construct a silo in Chattogram to store wheat for re-evaluation. The ministry asked for the proposed silo, with a 1.14 lakh tonnes storage capacity, to be built at a cost of
Tk537 crore by Confidence Infrastructure Ltd Bangladesh and the GSI Group LLC of USA.
The CCGP also approved another purchase proposal to build a multi-storey building in Mirpur's Paikpara in the capital for government officials at a cost of Tk148 crore.
Also, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs received approval in principle to procure 11 aerial platform ladders, rescue items, primary treatment accessories, personal safety gears, and life jackets for disaster management through direct purchase method.