Bangladesh, which is one of the fast-growing economies of the world, witnessed protests across the country due to a sharp hike in fuel prices, which, according to local media, is its "highest ever."
According to The Daily Star, one of Bangladesh's English newspapers, "Diesel and kerosene prices have been raised by (Bangladeshi taka) Tk 34, from Tk 80 to Tk 114 per litre. The price of octane has been raised from Tk 89 to Tk 135 per litre, while the petrol price has increased from Tk 86 to Tk 130."
The report also added that this is the second time that the administration has upped fuel prices in about nine months. The last time was on 3 November, when the government increased the prices of diesel and kerosene by 23 percent.
A report by NDTV stated that the prices of petrol and diesel have currently been increased by more than 50 percent.
Angry protesters have been demanding that the fuel price hike be reversed. The demonstrations come in the backdrop of a seemingly endless economic crisis in Sri Lanka, that has led to massive protests and changes in leadership.
The fuel price hike might be a consequence of the country's falling foreign exchange reserves, as Bangladesh needs funds to meet its import requirements.
The Finance Ministry of the country has been planning to obtain a loan of USD 4.5 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but the global financial institution also has certain conditions like the withdrawal of price control, budgets that are consistent with fiscal frameworks, high tax-GDP ratio, etc, so that the borrowing countries can repay their loans.
(With inputs from NDTV and The Daily Star.)