Govt not cutting fuel oil prices for now, State Minister Bipu says
Senior Correspondent bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-02-09 22:38:22.0 BdST Updated: 2017-02-10 03:34:11.0 BdST
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu has said the government has no plan to reduce fuel oil prices now.
He hopes the price will fall 'in the future'.
The minister responded to questions at a Facebook Live programme organised by Young Bangla, a platform of the non-profit-group Center for Research and Information (CRI), on Thursday.
"We wanted to reduce the price. But after seeing the rise of price in the global market, the government is not cutting the price for now. I hope the price will fall in the future," he said.
Nasrul Hamid Bipu
Following demands by several quarters, which cited the global fall as a factor, the prices of diesel and kerosene were raised by 4 percent and octane and petrol by 10 percent in April last year in Bangladesh.
Some weeks before that, the price of furnace oil had been cut to Tk 42 from Tk 60 per litre.
Consumers had demanded more cut as the drop in oil prices did not affect fare and Finance Minister AMA Muhith gave them hope by the end of the year.
Muhith on Dec 28 said the government decided in principle to reduce oil prices and those might be cut in January.
He said at the time that the previous cut was based on the drop to $80 per barrel in global market and the new adjustment might be based on $60 per barrel.
However, Bipu on Jan 18 said the government finally decided not to readjust oil prices for now considering the rise in global market.
The price rose 'slightly' by the end of last year following a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut production in order to stop the fall in prices.
The price of crude oil is moving near the $60 per barrel mark now.
Earlier in the day, former Bangladesh Bank governor Mohammed Farashuddin slated government policy on fixing fuel oil price a programme organised by the National Board of Revenue.
He wondered why the government decreased octane price, used by the 'rich', instead of cutting price of kerosene, used by '65 percent of the population'.
He advised the NBR to tax more those making profits due to the higher price of fuel oil in domestic market than the global one.
"Catch those who are making profits of tens of billions of taka taking the chance of higher domestic price than global one of fuel oil. NBR should demand half the extra profit from them," he said.
Bangladesh imports fuel oil mostly through state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC). Besides the BPC, some companies like Summit Group import fuel oil for private power plants.
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