DHAKA: Bangladesh has increased fuel prices by around 50 per cent, the highest hike since the country's independence in 1971, local media reported on Saturday.
The sharp rise came up as a shock to the people who thronged filling stations on Friday night after the government announced the new prices, Dhaka Tribune reported.
In numerous videos shared on social media platforms, thousands were seen crowding the filling stations and jostling to get their vehicle tanks filled.
Meanwhile, several filling stations in Dhaka's Mohammadpur, Agargaon, Malibagh, and other areas reportedly suspended their operations after the news broke, declaring their sales would resume after midnight when the new prices would come into effect, Dhaka Tribune reported.
The Bangladeshi government Friday night hiked the fuel prices by up to 51.7 per cent with effect from Saturday.
According to a price notification from the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, a litre of octane now costs 135 taka (1.43 U.S. dollars), which is 51.7 per cent higher than the previous rate of 89 taka (0.94 dollars), as per a report.
Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) in a statement had counted a loss of Tk 8,014.51 from February to July by selling fuel at low prices, The Daily Star reported.
The Russia-Ukraine war and the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted fuel prices globally. Russia is the largest exporter of oil and gas to global markets, and the retaliatory sanctions that followed have caused gas and oil prices to gallop with astounding ferocity.
The spike in energy prices was a major reason the World Bank revised its economic forecast in June, estimating that global growth will slow even more than expected, to 2.9 per cent this year.