Protests erupt in Bangladesh following 52% hike in fuel prices

Photo used for illustration purposes only

After economic crisis of Sri Lanka, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in many Bangladeshi cities when the Sheikh Hasina administration raised fuel prices to their highest level since the neighbouring nation’s independence by about 52%.

Angry demonstrators surrounded gas stations all throughout the South Asian country and demanded that the unexpected price increase be reversed. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine is to blame, according to the government of Bangladesh.

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Even if oil prices have declined in recent weeks due to recession fears, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused an increase in global energy prices.

The government of Bangladesh anticipates that increasing fuel costs will reduce the nation’s reliance on subsidies. It will, however, increase pressure on inflation, which is currently running at 7% and will directly impact the pockets of the average person.

Bangladesh’s $416 billion economy has been among the fastest-growing in the world for years, but as the cost of imports increased due to rising energy and food prices, the government was forced to seek loans from international institutions, including the International Monetary Fund.

The nation’s power, energy, and natural resources ministry stated in a statement that as of Saturday, the price of regular gasoline has jumped by 51.2% to 130 taka (about $108) per litre, 95-octane gasoline by 51.7% to 135 taka (around $113), and diesel and kerosene by 42.5%.

The majority of Bangladesh’s middle class and poorer families have been struggling to meet their daily expenses as a result of the country’s inflation rate, which has been above 6% for the past nine months and reached 7.48 percent in July.