Decision on raising petroleum prices soon: Finance minister

Originally posted in The Business Standard on 15 June 2022

Photo: UNB

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said a decision on raising the petroleum prices will come soon.

“You will get informed whenever the decision is made,” he told reporters while virtually briefing on the outcomes of the two consecutive meetings of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP) on Wednesday.

He said the government always tries to bear the load when price of any product goes up in the international market.

“But when the cost goes up excessively, the government shares the load with people,” he said.

He, however, did not respond to an information that the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has made a profit of about Tk50,000 crore since 2015.

Mustafa Kamal said the government’s view is to give lesser pain to people.

Responding to another question, he said the country’s stock market will see the impacts of the steps announced in the recently unveiled national budget for 2022-23.

The budget implementation will begin from the next month and then you will see the impacts, he adding, there are many things in the budget for the stock market.

He claimed that the country’s economy is in better position compared to the economies of other countries.

The finance minister admitted that a good amount of foreign exchange is being outflowed from the country due to employment of a huge number of foreign nationals in Bangladesh. But the accurate figure of the remittance-outflow is held by the departments concerned, he said.

Many of our garment industries have to employ foreign nationals to promote their export. “This is a vice-versa. But despite that our remittance inflow will continue to grow”.

Kamal again defended the government’s recent amnesty for the money laundereders and black money whitening steps saying that money becomes black due to the flawed system of the government.

Due to the flaws in the government system, people get the change to evade taxes, he added.