Fuel prices to be cut
Prices of fuel, particularly furnace oil is slated to be cut by Tk15 – 16 per litre within a week whereas other types including octane and diesel prices would be cut within a few months as per a government decision. This is a long overdue decision, particularly in light of the fact that oil prices in the international markets flattened out nearly one and a half years ago. We are informed that cut in prices will not be pegged against international pricing; rather it will be done on the basis of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation's (BPC) profitability. It is ironic that whilst the price per litre of furnace oil stands at less than Tk 30 per litre in the international market, BPC has been selling the same at Tk 60 per litre. Hence the cost of electricity generation by power plants remained high, and while BPC made bumper profits, the government ended up paying subsidy to keep price of electricity within reach.
We are also perplexed as to why it will take a month to rationalise prices of petrol and octane, and as to why BPC must continue to enjoy Tk 25-30 profit per litre! The rationale that BPC must be given time to recoup its losses despite the fact that all its bank loans have been repaid, tells us that the consumers are being squeezed for the purposes of making profits. It is high time that we join the league of other nations where pricing of fuel be adjusted automatically with fluctuations with the international pricing.