Tuesday, 7 February, 2023
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Private sector can help reduce fuel shortage

Private sector can help reduce fuel shortage

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.

Against this backdrop, the state minister for Power and Energy said that the government was working on a policy for allowing private sector to import and retail all kinds of crude oils. Some of the big private corporations have achieved remarkable capacity to deal with the delicate business of fuel oils. So, we believe such a move will be a step forward to the right direction. It will increase the flow of fuel oils in the market as well bring about vibrancy and price competitiveness in the energy sector. The private sector has been making a significant contribution to the economic growth and prosperity of the country since independence. Now, they can be the trusted partner of the state in removing uncertainties regarding the supply of fuel oils.