Fuel price hike triggers protests in Bangladesh

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Thousands of Bangla­deshis besieged fuel stations across the country after the government raised prices by as much as 52 per cent, the largest jump on record, on the back of higher oil prices.

Russia’s invasion of Ukr­aine has seen global energy prices soar, though oil has fallen back in recent weeks as recession fears mount.

Dhaka announced on Friday that the price of petrol was going up by 51.7pc and diesel by 42.5pc from midnight. Motorcycle riders rac­ed to fuel stations nationwide to try and fill up before the price rise went into effect. Some stations paused sales, and sporadic protests broke out.

Demonstrators said the increases would disproportionately hit the country’s tens of millions of poor people, who use diesel to power transport and farming irrigation pumps. In Sylhet, retailers tried to impose the higher prices immediately after the hike was announced, Police Com­m­issioner Nisharul Arif said.

Motorcycle riders raced to fuel stations nationwide to try and fill up before the price rise went into effect. Some stations paused sales, and sporadic protests broke out.

Demonstrators said the increases would disproportionately hit the country’s tens of millions of poor people, who use diesel to power transport and farming irrigation pumps.

In Sylhet city, retailers tried to impose the higher prices immediately after the hike was announced, Police Commissioner Md. Nisharul Arif said. “People gathered and protested in front of all the fuel pumps.”

There were similar protests in other cities, taking off from demonstrations staged earlier in the week. Energy Minister Nasru Hamid told reporters the decision was driven by global markets.

“Some adjustments have to be made in view of the global situation. If the situation normalises, the fuel prices will be revised accordingly,” he said.

Bangladesh has been hit by higher energy prices in the wake of the war in Ukraine, spurring a struggle to source fuel for power stations.—AFP

 

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