Bangladesh cuts public fuel cost amid oil price hike
The Bangladesh government yesterday cut fuel bill of its ministries and
divisions by ten percent in the wake of ballooning cost of the country's oil
import, leading English newspaper The Financial Express reported today.
finance ministry announced the decision in a notification, which also made it
mandatory to convert newly procured oil-run cars into gas-run ones as gas price
is lower in the country.
The finance ministry said the move would increase
energy efficiency and was part of austerity measures that would keep public
expenses under tight leash.
Officials said the order would help save the
government at least 3.50 billion taka (about US$50 million) from the
government's annual fuel expenditure that hit 35.00 billion taka ( about US$500
million) in the 2007-08 fiscal (July 2007- June 2008).
The government said it
would not allow the ministries or its divisions and state-owned enterprises to
use newly bought cars without converting them into Compressed Natural Gas
Natural gas is widely used in Bangladesh as the country has
natural gas reserve, though its gas supply is short of demand.
run facility no new cars would be allowed to ply," said the notification.
senior finance ministry official said the latest austerity move was taken in the
backdrop of a massive spike in oil import bill and amid sky-rocketing crude
prices in the international market.
The country spent more than 3.0 billion
to import 3.5 million tons of crude and refined oil last year -- a year-on-year
increase of around US$one billion despite the consumption was fractionally lower
than the previous year.
State-owned oil importer, Bangladesh Petroleum
Corporation (BPC) said in spite of the recent fall, import cost still remained
at least 20-30 percent higher than the government administered prices of
petroleum products in the domestic market.