In a time when limitation of energy sources is threatening to limit future economic prospects, the government’s likely decision to allow the private sector to import and market fuel oils could give a much-needed flip to the flagging economy. Currently, state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) is solely responsible for importing and marketing of petroleum fuels, but of late the state-owned organisation has been apparently in a quandary because of a missive fuel price hike in the international market and a huge amount of subsidies that is required to foot the import bill.
Fuel prices are perpetually in a state of flux in the international market, but BPC cannot quickly replicate the international price in the local market due to a complex pricing system, which requires a lengthy process as well as is attached to political sensitivity. Meanwhile, there were reports of shortages of fuel oils and gas which have resulted in a drop in electricity generation. As a result the country has been facing severe load-shedding in recent months in spite of making a stride in increasing electricity generation capacity. Rolling blackouts and shortages of gas have not only been causing much inconvenience to the masses, but also doing irreparable damage to the industrial sector.