Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina – who is now in the UK attending the COP26 summit – is closely monitoring the developments surrounding the recent fuel price hike in the country, says Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader.
"Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is monitoring the overall situation in Bangladesh from London," he said during a press conference at his Dhaka residence on Saturday.
"The prices of diesel and kerosene were revised for the price hike in the international market and to cease fuel smuggling despite the government's unwillingness," he added.
He said that Sheikh Hasina's government always prioritises the issue of "public interest" with utmost sincerity and importance.
Everyone, including concerned government agencies, should keep an eye so that no one can increase the cost of daily essentials and transport fares in an unfair way in excuse of the price adjustment, he added.
Quader, also the Awami League general secretary, said, "Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) is scheduled to hold a meeting in this regard on Sunday.
"In consultation with the stakeholders, the BRTA will try its best to keep the pressure of extra fare on people at a tolerable level."
He reiterated his call to the transport owners and workers to withdraw the strike considering the plight of students and general people.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Bangladesh government increased the prices of diesel and kerosene by Tk15/litre.
The sudden price hike decision was met with quick response from the public and goods transport owners, who called for a nationwide strike starting Friday morning."Transport owners are already under a lot of pressure.
Now, due to the increased price of diesel, it will be impossible for us to operate vehicles. This move [fuel price hike] is illogical," Bangladesh Truck-Covered Van Owners Association President Md Tofazzal Hossain Majumder told The Business Standard on Wednesday.
"The government did not discuss the issue of price hikes with transport leaders," Tofazzal Hossain said, adding that the strike will continue until further notice.
"Truck workers will stop transporting goods from Friday unless the decision to increase diesel prices is reversed," said Abdul Motaleb, general secretary of Bangladesh Truck Covered Van Transport Agency Owners Association.
Besides, Bangladesh Truck-Covered Van, Tank Lorry, Prime Mover Owners and Workers' Coordination Council, in a press release, observed that the government move to increase fuel prices along with the toll for Bangabandhu and Muktarpur bridges will add to the misery of the already Covid-19 ravaged transport sector.