Vol. 5 Num 215 Fri. December 31, 2004  
Letters to Editor

Fuel price hike

The prices of diesel and kerosene have gone up. The justification given by the Honourable Minister, Mr Musharraf Hossain, is not tenable. He has claimed that 1) the prices of petrol have gone up in the international market and 2) a huge amount of diesel/kerosene is being smuggled to India because the prices are much higher on the other side of the border.

May I suggest to the minister that the price of petroleum has actually come down on the international market and not the other way around. It went up to as high as US $60 a barrel, which now has come down to less than US $ 45. The price is considered to be so low that the OPEC countries have decided to cut their production to keep their prices at a higher level and not let them slide further. This comes at a time when the western countries are facing a severely cold winter and the demand for petrol is at an all time high.

The second argument of smuggling across the border is pointless. May I request the Minister to come to an easier solution for this problem. Please raise the price of diesel/kerosene in our country to Tk 50 or even higher for each litre. Then, by his own argument, diesel should be flowing the other way around and we need not import any petroleum products at all. Petrol is not fish that you can smuggle in a marketing bag (Chalaa). Neither can it be taken in bottles or cans to create any impact. If it is at all smuggled to create a deficit, then it is done in huge tankers. If it is happening, then the law enforcers should know who is doing it.