The government Monday rejected the launch owners' proposal to double the existing launch fare amid the recent 42.5 percent hike, from Tk 80 to Tk 114 a litre, in diesel price.
Launch owners are seeking a 100 percent increase in fares in response to the new fuel oil prices set by the government.
"The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Passenger Carriers Association, an organisation of the launch owners, proposed to double the current fare. If their proposal is accepted, the fare will be Tk4.60 and Tk4 from the existing Tk2.30 and Tk2 per kilometre, respectively," Shipping Secretary Md Mostafa Kamal said.
Against the backdrop of launch owners' proposal for a steep fare hike, the shipping ministry formed a working committee to recommend new rates by taking into account the potential implications for all stakeholders.
The committee will submit its report within this evening, Mostafa said after a meeting with the launch owners in Dhaka.
"Launch fares will be increased reasonably through discussion. We hope to publish a gazette within August 10," he added.
In November 2021, after a 23 percent hike in diesel price, launch fares were increased by more than 35 percent. The minimum launch fare was raised to Tk25 from Tk18.