Hassan Mahmud. — File photo.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud said on Saturday that fuel prices in Bangladesh were the same as in India while they were lower than prices in many other neighboring countries.
“The government gave Taka a subsidy of 53,000 crore or six billion dollars to the power and power sectors last year. Neighboring countries did not provide such subsidies, and energy prices rose several days ago. Fuel prices were higher than us. Diesel price is Taka 114 and octane price is Taka 134 to Taka 135 in India for several days. A lot of fuel was smuggled across the border because of the low price in our country,” he said.
The Minister stated them during a discussion at the TSC Auditorium at the University of Dhaka. The Bangladesh Chhatra League DU unit organized the reunion marking the 73rd birthday of Sheikh Kamal, the eldest son of the country’s founding president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
At the start of his speech, Hasan paid a rich tribute to Sheikh Kamal and said that the heroic freedom fighter and martyr Captain Sheikh Kamal was an outstanding sports and cultural organizer.
He will forever live in the hearts of young people as a “force of youth” until Bangladesh exists, he added.
On fuel costs, the Minister said that it was not possible for the government to provide subsidies indefinitely and fuel prices have risen abnormally in the global market.
For this, neighboring countries raised fuel prices several days ago, said Hasan, also deputy general secretary of the Awami League.
He said that the price of fuel in Bangladesh was 114 Taka per liter while it (the price) was 114 Taka in Kolkata and 112 Taka all over India, 118 Taka in China, 123 Taka in Emirates, Taka 127.82 in Nepal, Taka 138.24 in Indonesia, Taka 189.78 in Singapore and Taka 260.75 in Hong Kong. And fuel prices are lower than many other neighboring countries and equal to India, he added.
The fare, he said, will only be increased by 29 paisa per kilometer in a 50-seater bus. Currently, the fare is charged Taka 1.80 per kilometer of each passenger while it will be set at Taka 2.09 increasing by 29 paisa, he added.
Hasan said the government would talk to all transport sectors as soon as none could seize an illegal opportunity.
The Minister urged BCL leaders and activists to become dynamic on social platforms with appropriate information.
University of Dhaka Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof. Muhammad Samad and Juba League President Sheikh Fazle Shams Parash spoke as special guests, while BCL President , Nahian Khan Joy, and General Secretary, Lekhok Bhattacharia, took the floor as keynote speakers.
The President of BCL Dhaka University, Sanjit Chandra Das, chaired the meeting while its Secretary General, Saddam Hossain, chaired it.