Gov’t increased rates of diesel, kerosene citing rising fuel prices in global market.
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Public and goods transporters in Bangladesh went on an indefinite nationwide strike on Friday to protest rising fuel prices.
“We will continue our strike until the government withdraws the additional hike in the price of fuels,” Mohammad Tajul Islam, a transporters’ leader, told Anadolu Agency.
The Bangladesh government on Wednesday increased the prices of diesel and kerosene by taka 15 (approximately $0.18) per liter, citing rising fuel prices in the global market.
Islam, however, added that due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the transport sector of Bangladesh has incurred huge losses in the last two years and a sudden hike in the price of fuel will multiply their sufferings.
“Most of us have had a little income or, in many cases, no income at all for the last two years. In the meantime, various taxes have been enhanced, pushing the transporters to the wall,” he added.
Other demands of the transporters include withdrawing murder cases against drivers under Section 302 of the penal code for road accidents, solving driving license-related complexities, withdrawing the “additional” advance income tax, and allowing them to update their vehicles’ documents without having to pay any fine.
Bangladeshi farmers have also protested the hike in fuel prices, and called on the government to withdraw the decision.
“People are already suffering a lot, and the increase in fuel prices is likely to add insult to people’s injury,” said a statement by Bangladesh Krishak Sangram Samiti (Bangladesh Farmers Struggle Association).
The Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources Ministry, however, has defended the move in a press release, saying the prices have been readjusted against the backdrop of price hikes in the global market.
It claimed that the government has been incurring a loss of Taka 200 million (approximately $2.4 million) a day due to a subsidy on fuel.