Published : Thursday, 11 August, 2022 at 12:00 AM Count : 757
In the last seven years (2015-21) Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has made a profit of Tk468.58 billion by selling fuel oil. Of the amount it has given Tk100 billion to the government and there is no clue of the remaining Tk360 billion. The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) has raised the question where has the money go in a discussion titled "Could it be avoided hiking fuel prices now" at its office in the city on Wednesday. The CPD Executive Director Dr. Fahmida Khatun presided over the meeting. BUET former professor and an expert on fuel and sustainable development Dr. Ijaz Hossain, Vice President of BKMEA Fazle Shamim Ehsan, Former Secretary of Agriculture Ministry Anwar Farooq, President of Yatri Kalyan Samiti Mozammel Haque Chowdhury and others were present. Khandaker Golam Moazzem, senior fellow of CPD referring to finance ministry's data said BPC has earned a profit of Tk41.26 billion 2015, Tk86.53 billion in 2016, Tk86.53 billion in 2017, Tk56.44 billion in 2018, Tk47.68 billion in 2019, Tk50.67 billion in 2020 and Tk95.59 billion in 2021. BPC has always made profit by selling fuel oil. So now why the subsidy has been lifted? He said, Where is the remaining Tk360 billion? Where did the rest of BPC money go? It is said some money is being spent on project implementation. We know BPC is the richest bank client as there is TkTk250 billion in their bank account. So who is the owner of this money? BPC could have continued the fuel oil subsidy during this crisis if it wanted.
The economist said, "When you [the government] made profits, you didn't decrease the price, and when you are in losses, you want to hike the prices � it is not acceptable to the people." He said a huge amount of money has been put aside for subsidies, of which a large portion is kept for the energy sector. The government should publish a clear picture of accounts in this regard. "People are already under pressure from inflation. The inflation in the public transport sector is high enough. Now, if the government hikes the fuel prices again -- saying that otherwise, the development projects [of BPC] would stop -- it will not be acceptable." The economist said fuel prices were decreasing significantly in the international market since 2014, but the government only made a minor adjustment in 2016. It made huge profits during that time.