The government today increased the fares of all buses, including inter-district bus services, although the minimum bus fares in Dhaka and Chattogram city will remain unchanged at Tk10 and Tk8 respectively.
The government on Saturday issued a gazette notification stating, "The revised fares of buses and minibuses will be effective from Sunday (7 August)."
As per the new fare chart, passengers will have to pay Tk2.20 per kilometer, instead of Tk1.80, for inter-district and long-haul buses and minibuses.
The fare of buses and minibuses running in the Chattogram metropolitans and Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) areas - Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Narsingdi, Gazipur, Manikganj and Dhaka districts - has been increased to Tk2.40 per kilometer from Tk2.05.
Therefore, the fares for intracity and long-haul buses will go up by 17% and 22.2% respectively.
The new fares are not applicable for CNG-run buses.
Earlier, the fare committee of the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) recommended increasing the fares of all buses, including inter-district bus services by 22% and intra-city bus services by 16%
On Friday, the government increased fuel oil prices by 42.5% to 51.6%, the 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 and Tk130, respectively.
Prices of diesel and kerosene were increased by Tk15 last November and fixed at Tk80 per litre. After the hike in diesel prices, bus fare was hiked by around 27%, launch fares were hiked by 35%.
In less than a year, the bus owners want to raise the fares again by 30%, putting the total increase over 50% of the previous rate.
The government announced the hike when oil prices in the international market are on a downward trend. Brent crude price on Friday was $95.50/barrel. It had gone as high as $129/barrel several weeks back.
Sources at the Energy and Mineral Resources Division and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) said the latest price hike is the highest since 2001.
The previous highest diesel price hike was by 37.5% on 27 October 2008; the new hike broke that record as the price went up by 42.5% and that of octane by 51.6%.
Diesel is the most consumed fuel in the country, accounting for around 73% of the country's total fuel consumption.
The price hike of this fuel by 42.5% might have a disastrous impact on the transport and daily essential products as happened last November when the government increased the diesel price by 23.8%, said traders and industry people.