Awami League (AL) General Secretary Obaidul Quader today said the government was compelled to increase fuel prices in the country due to the abnormal price hike in international market.
"The government will adjust fuel prices again if its prices fall in the international market," he told a press conference at his official residence here. Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said the fuel price became volatile in international market due to Russia-Ukraine war, affecting the exchange rate of local currency against the US dollar.
That is why, he said, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has to incur a huge loss.
He said as the fuel prices were high in neighbouring countries, there was the concern of fuel smuggling from Bangladesh to these countries.
Quader said as a result of fuel price hike in the world market, the BPC incurred a loss of about Taka 9,000 crores from February 22 to July 22 this year and in this context, the government was forced to adjust the fuel price.
Highlighting the existing fuel prices in different countries, he said the diesel price per litre is Taka 112.56 in Myanmar, while Taka 114 in India, Taka 117.49 in Sri Lanka, taka 122.8 in UAE, Taka 127.82 in Nepal, Taka 189.78 in Singapore and Taka 260.75 in Hong Kong.
The AL general secretary said the government adjusted the fuel price in last November, while it decreased diesel price on April 25 in 2016 due to its price fall in international market.
The government will adjust the fuel price in the country if its price goes down in international market in the future, he said.
"It is true that the fuel price hike puts impacts on different sectors of economy. Taking the matter into the account, the government is trying to remain its negative impacts at lower levels," Quader said.
The government is considering increasing the scope of various support programmess in important sectors, including agriculture, and improving life standard of low-income people, he said.
The AL general secretary said according to experts, fuel price will start stabilising in the world market soon and "it will bring a message of hope for us".
About the transport fare adjustment due to fuel price hike, the road transport minister said the transport owners and workers associations will not demand extra fares from the newly adjusted transport fares.
He warned that legal action would be taken if any mode of transport charges additional fare from passengers. Responding to BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir's statement, Quader said actually the BNP has turned into a monster in the country by killing people, destroying public properties and burning people alive.
"Those, who introduced the politics of killing, are monsters and they are more dangerous than monsters," he added.