The government reduced the prices of different petroleum fuels by Tk 3-10 per litre with effect from midnight yesterday or zero hour today. As per a gazette notification, per litre prices of octane and petrol was reduced be Tk 10 per litre while diesel and kerosene prices were reduced by Tk 3. As such, a litre of diesel or kerosene now costs Tk 65 from the earlier Tk 68, while a litre of petrol is sold at Tk 86 instead of Tk 96, and octane now retails at Tk 89 instead of Tk 99. State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid said the lowered prices will be effective from zero hour today. The price reductions follow the decision at a Cabinet meeting earlier this month to lower fuel prices in principle.
Earlier, the Energy Division decreased the price of furnace oil by Tk 18 — from Tk 60 to Tk 42 per litre last month following the Cabinet decision. Officials at the Energy Ministry said that despite the downward adjustment in fuel price, the government still stands to profit from petroleum trading. They said that following the price reductions, the government will be making a profit of Tk 25 on each litre of petrol, Tk 20 on a litre of octane, and Tk 17 on each litre of diesel and kerosene – thanks to the sustained slump in the price of oil in the international market. Earlier on April 4, State minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid told journalists that prices of octane, petrol, diesel and kerosene could be reduced by Tk. 15 to Tk. 20 per litre in three phases. Hamid told The Independent that the price reduction per litre would be between Tk. 6 and Tk. 10 in the first phase.
Hamid said after the cut in the price of
furnace oil in last week of March, the government decided to adjust the price of octane, petrol, diesel and kerosene. On March 31, the government reduced the price of furnace oil to Tk. 42 from Tk. 60 per litre, effective from April 1. “This price reduction will be carried out in three phases to gauge the impact of price reduction and to determine whether it works in the public interest or not,” he said. “After the price cut in the first phase, we will sit down with transport owners and other stakeholders to figure out the impact,” Hamid added. The state-run BPC imports oil from 13 international companies. At present, the BPC imports some 1.2 million tonnes of crude oil and 4.2 million tonnes of refined oil from abroad, while around 300,000 tonnes of petroleum products are received from different gas fields and private fractionation plants. Crude oil is processed only at the Eastern Refinery to produce diesel, petrol, octane, furnace oil and LPG. The BPC adjusted oil prices upwards in 2013, when the rate of the commodity rose to USD 122 per barrel in the international market. It fixed the octane price at Tk. 99 per litre, petrol at Tk. 96 per litre, diesel at Tk. 68 per litre and furnace oil at Tk. 60 per litre at that time. The state-owned enterprise has been maintaining the same prices, even though the oil price dropped to less than USD 40 a barrel globally in the past two years. The BPC is now making profits of around Tk. 8,000 to Tk. 9,000 crore per year by procuring oil at low prices and selling it at higher rates in the domestic market.