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Dhaka Tribune

Increased fuel prices affect imports through Benapole port

Importers fail to release goods as trucks demand an additional Tk10,000 as fare

Update : 09 Aug 2022, 03:16 PM

The sudden fuel price hike in Bangladesh is affecting imports through Benapole port as transport companies are demanding higher fares.

Importers and other concerned authorities claim that previously truck fares were set at Tk18,000-22,000, but now companies and truck drivers are demanding over Tk28,000.

Due to this reason, many importers were unable to clear their goods from the port despite paying the import duty, reports Bangla Tribune.

Animesh Mukharji, from Dhaka’s Dilkusha area, said his company’s goods are imported from India. Some of his imported goods reached Benapole port but he could not release them as truck drivers were demanding around Tk10,000 extra from him.

He mentioned that even though he completed all other procedures with the Benapole Customs House, he had to leave his goods at the land port.

Abdul Hamid, the owner of Hamid Enterprise in Khulna complained the same.

He said: "We won't be able to cover our original costs if we start paying what truck drivers and companies demand. Profit would be a different story.”

Another importer from Jessore, Sohel Rana, told Bangla Tribune that they paid trucks Tk7,000 to import goods from India but since Monday, the fares increased to Tk12,000.

“We cannot raise the prices of our goods as it is a competitive market. This will result in losses,” he added.

In this regard, Benapole Transport Agency Owners Association President Atiquzzaman Soni said: “Truck fares were bound to increase as fuel prices have increased. Now trucks have to pay at least Tk10,000 extra for fuel.”

He added the fare of transporting goods from Benapole port to other parts of Bangladesh has increased as well.

Meanwhile, Benapole Export-Import Association President Mohsin Milon said: “Transporting goods from Benapole to Dhaka through a truck cost around Tk18,000-23,000. But now it has increased to Tk28,000-32,000.”

He also noted that covered van fares increased to Tk35,000 from Tk25,000.

Sajedur Rahman, general secretary of the Benapole C&F Agents Staff Association, said: "Due to the transport crisis, truck fares have now doubled compared to normal times. Many perishable goods traders are releasing their products by paying extra fares fearing spoilage.”

Nasir Uddin, joint secretary of the association said: "As many as 350 trucks carrying goods are imported and 250 are exported through Benapole port every day." 

In the last fiscal year 2021-22, the import of goods was over 2.1 million tons, he mentioned.

The government late on Friday announced the new increased fuel prices. The decision came into effect on Saturday.

Now the price of diesel and kerosene per litre at the consumer level is Tk114, octane Tk135, and petrol Tk130. The price of diesel has been increased by Tk 34 per litre, octane price by Tk 46 per litre, and petrol price by Tk 44 per litre.

Experts say the recent hike in fuel prices has a severe impact on citizens, affecting their purchasing power, transport freedom, business, and overall standard of living.

The rate at which fuel prices are increased is immediately affecting all sectors, including the manufacturing and transport sectors, and increases inflation.

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