Implementation of various development projects and incentive packages would have been hampered if fuel prices were not adjusted to the world market, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said.
He said the government had to earn revenue to meet its huge expenditure. "Without revenue, the government won't be able to implement development projects," he added.
"The government does not print money. So, the burden of the increased price of fuel on the international market has been shared with the public," Kamal said after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Purchase on Wednesday.
The minister said the consistent rise in fuel prices in the world market was the reason behind the hike in the country.
As Bangladesh was not an oil-producing country, it had little say in the prices, Kamal said, adding, "Bangladesh is at the receiving end and there are many reasons for the fuel price hike."
Asked why fuel prices were not reduced despite the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) making a profit of Tk43,000 crore in the last eight years, he said, the price of oil was kept low during that period.
The finance minister also highlighted the subsidy provided by the government in this regard, saying the rest had to be borne by the people.
Asked whether it was logical to raise oil prices at a time when many people were unemployed and incomes had declined, he said, "The government has not increased oil prices. The international market has caused the hike. Ship fares have risen. I will highlight the import cost and local price of oil next week."
On whether there was any plan to reconsider the fuel price hike, Kamal said if the concerned authorities increased the price abruptly without any basis, then the matter could be reviewed.
Earlier on November 3, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) raised the prices of diesel and kerosene at the retail level.
The prices of diesel and kerosene were increased to Tk80 per litre from Tk65.