Almost everyday there are news items in our dailies and television bulletins about an abnormal hike of fuel prices in northern districts. Some of the areas in these districts have nearly run out of fuel reserve.
It is reported that Finance Minister Saifur Rahman's proposal to increase fuel prices reportedly pushed the price of petrol up to Tk 80 at some places in Sirajganj, a Tk 38 rise per litre. In addition there are shortages of fuel at the filling stations badly affecting the supply across the country.
There is an apprehension that if the crisis lingers many shallow pumps for irrigation would go out of operation. A good number of vessels carrying fuels are stranded at many points because of inadequate water level in the rivers.
Already fuel prices have increased by at least Tk 5 to Tk 7 a litre at almost all the filling stations. The administration had to deploy police at the Baghabari fuel depot to control agitated people.
Fuel sales at the filling stations remained suspended in some districts throwing many people into difficulties.
Filling station owners stopped sales creating an artificial crisis from Thursday following a rumour about a fuel price hike. Most of the fuel retailers are selling fuel oil at almost double the price.
Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) officials said the fuel crisis mounted because of government not taking proper steps at appropriate time to face the extra fuel requirement for irrigation in the winter season.
The Energy Advisor said a section of unscrupulous traders are creating an artificial crisis. If it is so we want to know why actions are not being taken.
M. A. Bari