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Quelling fuel market manipulation a must

Published : Friday, 30 December, 2022 at 12:00 AM  Count : 455

Quelling fuel market manipulation a must

Quelling fuel market manipulation a must

A news report front-paged in this daily on Wednesday saying that the current exorbitant price of fuel would not drop anytime soon has deeply worried us.  Undoubtedly, it will only add fuel to the fire commoners are already burning from volatile kitchen market.  A minutely reading of the report only reveals an effort of the authority concerned�s once more repeating  the Russia-Ukraine war to get away with their responsibility of taking sincere and appropriate initiative to adjust the fuel price with public expectation. We believe such apathy towards public interest is not a mere attempt to dodge the accountability, it also offers dubious group with undue favour.

BPC Chairman has been reported to have linked counting loss of Tk 2-3 per litre on diesel sales at a press conference at his office on Tuesday. In an attempt to garner support in favour of his argument of not bringing down the fuel price, he also mentioned the recent oil tanker spillage of 11 lakh litres. We don�t disagree with him that such a huge amount of oil spillage can have an adverse impact. But question can rightly appear- should we not remain prepared for any accident?

However, on August 5, the government announced increases in diesel and kerosene price by Tk 34 to Tk 114 per litre, octane -by Tk 46 to Tk 135 per litre and petrol by Tk 44 to Tk 130 per litre. On August 29, the government reduced the price of all types of oil by Tk 5 per litre. At that time, the price of per barrel West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was $90.66 which now fell to $75.18 per barrel. Bangladesh imports refined oil at around $25 costlier than the price of crude.

We believe that the recent hike in fuel price was driven by injudicious and ill planned actions of the concerned. When it has come down in the international market, charging high price in our domestic market only reveals an organized chaos going on.

As things stand, ordinary people are already finding it extremely difficult to make ends meet with the kitchen markets behaving erratically and the high prices of almost all daily essentials showing no signs of easing. A further escalation of fuel prices � along with the already-high prices of utilities like electricity, water and gas � are bound to have a ripple effect on the prices of food and non-food items. This will be too much to bear for fixed-income groups, especially those in the lower-income bracket.

We urge the government to explore alternatives to raising fuel prices and overcharging an already over-taxed people. They deserve a breathing space in this lunatic time.

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