** Both muscle politics and political activist teachers are jointly to be blamed for universities' shameful low ranking ** Buyers flock to Karwan Bazar market in the capital to buy hilsa as the government has imposed a 22-day ban on catching, selling, hoarding and transporting of hilsa from Friday across the country to protect safe spawning of the fish during its peak breeding period. NN photo ** Bangladesh's economy is in quite strong position: PM ** Dengue spreading fast ** Palm oil price down by Tk 8 per litre, sugar price up Tk 6 per kg ** Tangail road crash leaves six dead ** National grid failure Probe on to determine sabotage ** 35 people killed in Thailand mass shooting ** HC cannot pass order in a policy decision matter of the govt : SC rules ** Cricketer Al-Amin claims, he divorces his wife ** The committee must see if efficient people are placed in the power sector to avoid an outage ** Vehicles struggle to ply on Dhaka-Narayanganj Link Road on Wednesday, as rains caused waterlogging in the area. NN photo ** Army personnel working to restore road communication at Sajek union under Baghaichhari Upazila in Rangamati district on Wednesday as heavy rains triggered landslide in the area, disrupting vehicular movement on Sajek-Khagrachhari road. NN photo ** Initiative taken to amend the hundred-year old Railways Act ** Probe body starts work to find out reasons for national grid failure ** Bigo Apps loots Tk 108cr spreading obscenity in Bangladesh ** US announces $625m military aid for Ukraine ** Brunei Sultan likely to visit Dhaka on Oct 13-15 ** Teen stabbed to death at Gopalganj Durga Puja fair ** Country reports 549 new Covid cases, 2 deaths ** 25 dead as bus falls into gorge in India ** Nearly 4000 tourists trapped as heavy rain triggers landslide at Sajek ** Dollar rebounds as global market rally fades ** Govt made money in the name of generating electricity: BNP ** Child labour crushing dreams of Bangladesh children **

Where BPC's Tk 46,858cr profits went? Experts and stakeholders ask government

12 August 2022 Editorial Desk
Where BPC's Tk 46,858cr profits went? Experts and stakeholders ask government

The Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) with the help of its huge profits earned since 2015 could have been avoided of the latest record hike in fuel oil prices announced abruptly on the night of August 5. Instead the government chose to pass on the huge price shock to the people with direct effects on transportation, agricultural and industrial production and pushing a surging inflation.

The Centre for Policy Dialogue at media briefing in the capital on Wednesday said the BPC could have used the Tk 46,858 crore profits it made in the last seven years to continue the subsidy on fuel and thus prevent the price hike. It could also have offset the losses it has been incurring over the last six months, said the think-tank, asking the government to disclose what happened to the BPC's profits. These large scale fuel price hikes at one go at a time when global crude oil prices have come down, will not only affect the extreme poor and the poor, but also the fixed-income people. Costlier diesel will raise the cost of irrigation and other farm machinery as 97 per cent of farm activities are now mechanised. The increased cost of farming, if not compensated, might discourage farmers from rice farming which would put future food security at stake, it warned.

Experts and stakeholders have said the latest fuel price hike would bring fresh troubles for the apparel industry and food security may erode due to high farming costs. The price hike came at a time when people are already vulnerable due to commodity price hikes and inflation. The use of diesel -- a costly option -- had already increased in factories due to lack of gas supply. But it would not be feasible due to buy diesel at the new rate and to run the factory. Besides, sales have dropped precariously in the last two months due to the worldwide economic recession. So, this price hike has put the RMG sector in a difficult situation. Most worrying fact is that workers may quit their jobs due to high urban living cost and low income. To them, if India can adjust fuel prices depending on the global market, why can't Bangladesh?

Transparency of BPC's income and expenditure needs to be ensured. Even if it was for the IMF loans, the corporation had the financial ability to continue for a while without abruptly passing the pressure on to the consumers. People want to know where did BPC's profits go?

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