Bikes, cars feel the pinch of fuel at the pumps

Latest record fuel hike forces people to rethink household budgets and forgo leisure

08 August 2022, 09:20

Last modification: 08 August 2022, 09:25

A bicycle owner buys petrol at Tk 130 per litre, an unfortunate victim of rising fuel prices. The photo was taken at a petrol station in the capital’s Paribagh district on Sunday. Photo: Rajib Dhar

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A bicycle owner buys petrol at Tk 130 per litre, an unfortunate victim of rising fuel prices. The photo was taken at a petrol station in the capital’s Paribagh district on Sunday. Photo: Rajib Dhar

At a Paribagh refueling station in the capital, Arifur Rahman watches the numbers climb rapidly on the pump: Tk100, Tk200, Tk300. The numbers indicating the octane rating he gets in his motorcycle‘s fuel tank also go up. But much more slowly. Painfully slowly.

“I’m going to have to spend Tk 2,000 more every month now just on fuel. Also, there will be a fuel-related commodity price shock and all that,” said senior company executive Arifur. deprived of forty years.

To continue riding the motorbike to get to his office in Niketan, he said his family will still have to skimp on daily essentials.

Limited income people like Arifur, who have managed to buy a motorbike or a car with their hard-earned money, are developing other strategies cost reduction measures that include reducing commuting, reducing protein intake and switching to rickshaws for the time being.

Some are even considering selling their vehicles, as service station staff say they have not witnessed such agony and turmoil among customers in their 30-year career so far. ‘now.

“They keep asking us the same question: why did the government suddenly raise the price of fuel to historic highs,” said Hanif, refueling assistant at Purbachal Traders. petrol pump in Paribagh.

“Rideshare company drivers are showing more fury,” he told The Business Standard.

On Saturday, Bangladesh hiked fuel prices by around 50%, a move that will reduce the country’s subsidy burden but put more pressure on inflation which is already above 7%.

The price of gasoline was increased by 51.2% to Tk 130 per liter, octane gasoline by 51.7% to Tk 135, and diesel and kerosene by 42.5%. The government last raised diesel and kerosene prices by 23% in November last year, leading to an almost 30% increase in transport tariffs.

“We don’t have to do anything now, we will have to accept the situation,” said Ayub Hossain, an imam at a mosque in Hatirpool, while refueling his motorbike at the Purbachal Traders petrol pump.

“I am very angry and irritated by the decision of the government to raise prices. But the problem is that the government does not listen to us.”

Ayub said his belt-tightening measures did not include “less necessary travel” for now and a reduction in protein intake.

Like Ayub, housewife Akila Haque at Meghna Model Service Center petrol pump in Shahbagh area, she won’t be taking long trips with her car at the moment.

“What else can I do?” she asks.

Anwarul Azim, a businessman who also came to the gas station, said he bought the car to drop off and pick up his children from school.

“But I may not be able to sustain the cost of the car any longer,” he told TBS.

Preferring not to be named, a senior private company executive said his wife used a car to drive to his office in Shyamoli from their residence in Adabar. The trip consumes about 300 Tk of fuel per day.

“The other day we were talking about leaving the car because the rickshaw ride would only cost Tk 100,” he added.

Meanwhile, wealthy people who used small diesel generators during forecast power outages said they would also ration the use of such small power plants as soaring fuel prices drive up costs.

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