Bangladesh petrol still cheaper than most of South Asia

The government late on Friday night raised the retail prices of petrol, kerosene, octane and diesel

The government in a sudden move late on Friday night made an upward revision of the retail prices of petrol, kerosene, octane and diesel. The decision came into effect right from midnight.

However, the new price of petrol is still lower than in neighbouring India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The decision in Bangladesh, the government said, had been taken following an uptrend of fuel oil prices in the global market in the current world situation driven by the ramifications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.    

At the same time, the move comes as the state-run Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation has incurred a mammoth loss of Tk8014.51 crore in fuel oil sales over the last six months from February.

If the global market becomes stable, the government said, measures would be taken to consider re-adjusting prices.

Within a 40-km radius of the depot, according to the latest move by the Energy and Mineral Resources Division, the prices of per litre diesel, kerosene, octane and petrol were set at Tk114, Tk114, Tk135 and Tk130 respectively.

The last time the government adjusted fuel prices was on November 3 last year when it increased the prices of diesel and kerosene.

On May 22, the price of diesel in Kolkata was fixed at 92.76 Indian rupees per liter while that of petrol was set at 106.03 Indian rupees per liter, which is still in force there.

If the amounts are converted to Taka, the price of diesel and petrol would be Tk114.09 and Tk 130.42 per liter (considering one rupee is equal to Tk1.23).

It means the price hikes of diesel and petrol in Bangladesh are not that high compared to those in India despite the two fuel items getting pricier by 51% and 42.5% respectively.  

The price comparison clearly shows that prior to the hike, diesel was being sold in Bangladesh by Tk34.09 less per liter than in Kolkata while petrol was Tk44.42 cheaper compared to Kolkata.

Different countries of the world, including those in Bangladesh’s neighbourhood, are regularly adjusting the price of fuel oil considering the uptrend of fuel oil prices in the global market.

Since the price of fuel oil was less in Bangladesh, there was a chance of smuggling of fuel oil which prompted demand at the time for a rise in fuel oil price, the government said.

On July 27, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the government did not import petrol and octane as the country got these as byproducts of gas extraction.

But she admitted the fact that Bangladesh needed to import diesel.

"We've much more petrol and octane than there is for demand. We can even sell these sometimes," she added.

Regional comparison

As of August 1, Afghanistan was selling petrol at the lowest price in South Asia which is equivalent to Tk 93.07, according to globalpetrolprices.com.

Pakistan and Bhutan were following the landlocked country with petrol selling for Tk96 and Tk121.14 respectively, data from Pakistani media and the aforementioned website says. 

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka is charging the regional maximum price (Tk143.51) while Nepalese are paying the second-highest price amounting to Tk136.27, the website adds.

Dhaka Tribune has converted the prices, mostly mentioned as US dollar, to the Bangladeshi currency for a better understanding and comparison.

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