The government is likely to cut oil price further in January, 2017 to rationalize the petroleum products pricing in line with the international market value, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said.
“We had hoped to bring it down in December, but it was not possible, so we hope to do so in January,” Muhith told journalists at the secretariat on Wednesday.
"The rate of reduction (however) will not be much as the oil price in international market is fluctuating," he said.
Asked about the delay, Muhith said: “The proposal has to be sent to the prime minister as it falls under her jurisdiction. We have not been able to send it yet.”
Though the global price of oil has been falling for two years, the government had kept oil prices unchanged to compensate the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation for its losses.
On Apr 24 this year, the price of diesel and kerosene was reduced by about 4 per cent and the price of octane and petrol was brought down by approximately 10 per cent. A few days earlier the price of a litre of furnace oil was reduced from Tk 60 to Tk 42.
“We have adjusted the prices slightly this calendar year and that is good enough,” said the finance minister. “We are not worried.”
“The adjustment was based on the $80 crude oil price on the international market. Through prices fell to $40 at one point, they are rising once again. I believe they will end up around $60, so it is not too big.”
Asked why a decision was taken to reduce the price, he explained: “The purpose is to spread the savings and the benefits to all. As everyone is affected by the price of oil, we have decided to bring it down.”