A seven-member committee formed by the Ministry of Shipping has recommended eight levels from a minimum of 19.50 to a maximum of 50 percent to increase the launch fare in view of the increase in the price of fuel oil. The new fare will be fixed according to the level fixed by the Minister of State for Shipping.

After the government hiked fuel prices last Friday, the launch owners offered to increase the fare by 100 percent and double it. About this, the officials of the Ministry of Shipping sat in a meeting with the launch owners today at the secretariat. In the meeting, the Ministry of Shipping formed a seven-member committee to reschedule the launch fare. The committee members discussed with the launch owners from 3 pm to 8:30 pm. But in the end there was no compromise between the two parties.

Among the eight tiers recommended by the committee, the launch owners have objections to all but the maximum fare increase. They have called an emergency meeting among themselves tomorrow, Tuesday. According to the decision of the meeting, the next steps will be taken, said Saidur Rahman, Vice President of Bangladesh Inland Navigation Organization.

According to the sources of the meeting, the current fare for the first 100 kilometers is 2 taka 30 paisa. The committee has recommended an increase of 19.5 percent at the minimum level. If this is implemented, the fare will increase by 45 paise per km. A 22 percent fare hike has been recommended in the second tier. It will increase the fare by 51 paisa per kilometer to 2 taka 81 paisa. The committee has recommended a 25 percent fare hike in the third tier. It will increase by 57 paisa and the rent will be 2 taka 87 paisa.

A 30 percent increase in fare will increase by 69 paise per kilometer. The fare per kilometer will be 2 taka 99 paisa. If there is a 35 percent increase, the rent will be 3 taka 10 paisa. If the rent increases by 40 percent, the rent will be 3 taka 22 paisa. If it increases by 42 percent, the fare will increase by 3 taka 26 paisa per kilometer. And if it is increased by 50 percent, the fare will increase by 3 taka 45 paisa per kilometer.

The convener of the committee, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Shipping, Ferdous Alam, told Prothom Alo, “We did not think the proposal of the owner association to increase the rent by 100% reasonable. We have recommended an increase in rent from a minimum of 19.5 to a maximum of 50 percent. Out of this, the one that the government accepts will be issued in the form of a notification.

Ferdous Alam said that earlier the fare per kilometer on the road increased by 22 and a half percent. That is also under consideration. And the launch owners are talking about increasing other costs including Mobil. But now the price of diesel has increased. There is no opportunity to take into account the increase in the price of other materials.

On the other hand, the Launch Owners Association says that the price of diesel per liter has increased by Tk 34. In that, the rent per kilometer is supposed to increase by 42.5 percent.

Saidur Rahman, vice president of Bangladesh Inland Navigation Organization, said, “We have proposed to increase the fare by a maximum of 50 percent.” But in the eight tiers recommended by the committee, we are afraid that we will not have a proposal in the end. For that we have not considered the eight-level proposal.