Govt to slash oil price: Muhith

The government is planning to cut oil price further to rationalize the value of the petroleum products in line with the falling prices in the international market, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith.

"We have already reduced the oil price. We think, cutting further the oil price will be better for the country's economy," he told journalists after emerging from a meeting with International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Mission Chief Brian Aitken at Finance Ministry here today.

IMF Senior Economist Jiri Jonas, Economist Jayendu De, Resident Representative Stella Kaendra, Security Advisor David Kehoe, Executive Director Subir Gokarn, among others, were present during the meeting.

"We'll make an announcement in this regard after holding a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina soon," Muhith said.

The government slashed the prices of different gasoline products by Taka 3-10 per litre on an average in April this year. The prices of octane and petrol were cut by Tk 10 per litre while diesel and kerosene by Tk 3 per litre.

"We have taken this decision in a coordination meeting for reducing the oil price further. Now, we are preparing necessary papers in this regard," Muhith said.

Referring to the discussion with the IMF team, the minister said the meeting was actually a courtesy call on and the team lauded the economic progress of the country. The team also focused on some challenges like export and investment growth to sustain the advancement of the country, he added.

Responding to a question about the demand of Rs 9.21 billion by Pakistan, Muhith said there is nothing to comment in this regard. "Pakistan is a rough country and all steps they are taking are roughish," he added.

Bangladesh always demands to Pakistan for paying money on four criteria and Bangladesh has proper documents, the minister said, adding that Pakistan has no document against its demand.

Bangladesh became independent in 1971 but Pakistan has not yet paid Bangladesh its shares of money from different heads - donations and reserve, for example-which it should have paid right after the war.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)