Protests Erupt Across Bangladesh after Steep Hike in Fuel Prices

DY365
DY365
Published: August 8,2022 03:19 PM
DY365

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Protests have erupted across Bangladesh after the government announced a steep increase in fuel prices amid a worsening economic condition of the country

August 8, 2022: Protests have erupted across Bangladesh after the government announced a steep increase in fuel prices amid a worsening economic condition of the country.



The increase was announced by the Sheikh Hasina government on Friday, after which diesel rate went up by 34 Taka per litre, octane by 46 Taka per litre and petrol by 44 Taka per litre. Several Bangladeshi media outlets said that this 51.7 per cent increase in fuel price is the highest since the country got independence.



Several videos surfaced on social media that showed people queuing up at fuel stations late at night to fill up their tanks.



The South Asian country's $416 billion economy has been one of the fastest-growing in the world for years. However, soaring energy and food prices have inflated its import bill, prompting the government to seek loans from global lending agencies, including the International Monetary Fund.



The fuel price increase was inevitable given global market conditions, Bangladesh's energy ministry said in a statement, noting state-run Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) had incurred a loss of more than 8 billion taka ($85 million) on oil sales in the six months till July.



"The new prices will not seem tolerable to everyone. But we had no other choice. People have to be patient," Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources told reporters on Saturday. He said prices would be adjusted if global prices fall.



Bangladesh's inflation rate has topped 6 per cent for nine consecutive months, with annual inflation in July hitting 7.48 per cent, putting pressure on poor and middle-income families to meet their daily expenses.



Bangladesh is another of India's neighbour after the island country of Sri Lanka, to have been hit by such demonstrations. Angry demonstrators surrounded fuel stations throughout Bangladesh demanding the unexpected price increase be reversed.