Fuel price hike: Launch owners demand double fares
Following the record rise in fuel prices, launch owners are now demanding that the authorities double the launch fares.
The hike in fuel price is already having a significant negative impact on commuters due to the increasing bus fares.
Bangladesh Inland Waterways (passenger carriers) Association (BIWA), a leading organisation of launch owners, today wrote to the chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) seeking a 100 percent hike in launch fares.
The shipping ministry will hold a meeting with launch owners at 12 pm tomorrow to go over their application, Rofiqul Islam, director (marine safety and traffic management) of BIWTA told The Daily Star today (August 7, 2022).
In a letter, Mahbub Uddin Ahmed Bir Bikram, president of BIWA, said launch passengers declined following the opening of Padma Bridge in June this year, leaving their businesses in sluggish conditions.
The government has hiked fuel price by Tk 34 per litre while lubricant prices in the global market saw a 50 percent hike and the price of different spare parts doubled due to an increase in dollar rates.
As a result, operational costs for launches increased by 100 percent, read the letter.
They demanded that launch fares below 100km should be Tk 4.60 per kilometre instead of the existing Tk 2.30 and launch fares above 100km should be Tk 4 instead of currently Tk 2 per km.
Badiuzzaman Badal, senior vice-chairman of the association, said, "If the government can raise fuel prices by 50 percent, then why can't we seek launch fare hike by 100 percent."
Apart from the fuel price hike, prices for all other elements related to launch operations have increased, leading them to seek a 100 percent fare hike, he told this correspondent.