There was a ‘double surprise’ from the government this week. First, all of a sudden, it raised the fuel prices by a big margin that included petrol, octane, diesel and furnace oil. Secondly, it enhanced compressed natural gas (CNG) price by Tk 5.0 per unit. With CNG price-hike, the government also enhanced transport fares in quick succession. New prices of fuel and CNG have already taken effect.
Speedy implementation of the ‘sudden’ decisions demonstrates that the government is desperate to reduce the ballooning subsidy in the energy sector. Even these measures are far from enough. The government will still have to bear the burden of a huge subsidy, reportedly to the tune of Tk 225 billion, even after such hikes.