A similar disheartening scenario arose again after the record hike in fuel prices at midnight on 5 August. Although the ministry of energy and mineral resources speaks of price adjustment with the world market as a reason for increasing the price of fuel oil, they do not have any specific formula for price adjustment. Similarly, there is no scientific formula for fare adjustment in goods transport and public transport after the increase in fuel prices.

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) coordinates the bus fares. After the increase in the price of fuel, it was suggested in the press release of the energy ministry that bus fare may increase by Tk 0.29 per kilometer and launch fare by Tk 0.42. But BRTA increased the fare more by Tk 0.13 per km for long-distance buses and Tk 0.06 per kilometer for urban buses than the previous fixed rate. The irony is, the owners and workers of Dhaka transport have been charging higher fare from commuters than the fixed fares of BRTA in most cases.

Earlier in November last year, in response to a 23 per cent hike in diesel prices, the fares of buses, trucks, launches and freight vehicles was hiked from 28 to 43 per cent. But fuel has only 40 per cent share in the fare of bus, truck or transport. Accordingly, the fare should not increase by more than 10 to 15 per cent.

According to Prothom Alo report, BRTA has increased the fare arbitrarily ​​after the increase in the price of fuel oil. Expenditures such as renovation of buses, accident risk expenses, garage and terminal rent, maintenance, interest on loans and investments, wages and bonuses were added with the fare.

This sector of expenditure has no basis in reality. Transport owners have sole influence over the government's decision to raise fares. Fares have also been randomly increased for transportation of goods by road and sea. From Chattogram port to Dhaka, where the fuel cost has increased from Tk 2040 to Tk 2,380 per vehicle, the transport companies are charging Tk 4,000 to Tk 4,500 extra.

The government authorities and the transport owners have put the huge burden of additional fares and expenses along with the real increase of costs on the shoulders of the consumer. But the ability to withstand pressure is certainly not infinite.

The anarchic and depressing picture of the abnormal increase in the price of fuel and the arbitrary increase in the fares in public transport and goods transportation following that, raises a big question about the role of the relevant authorities of the government. What are the government's regulatory and supervisory agencies doing? The regulatory agencies must step forward to stop the anarchy that has been created in the public transport and goods transport fares.