The government is expected to fix new launch fares tomorrow (Wednesday) in response to the operators' proposal for doubling the rates amid the latest price hike of fuel oils.
A circular is scheduled to be issued in this regard on the day.
The launch operators have proposed to double the fare from Tk 2.30 per kilometre to Tk 4.60 for the first 100-km journey and from Tk 2.0 to Tk 4.0 per km for travelling the next 100-km.
The Ministry of Shipping (MoS) at a meeting with the launch owners on Monday formed a seven-member working committee and asked it to recommend the revised fares to the ministry before Wednesday.
"We have formed a committee to prepare and recommend new fares," Shipping Secretary Mostofa Kamal told the media after the meeting at the MoS conference room.
Led by MoS additional secretary SM Ferdous, the committee will recommend a new chart of fares for implementation.
"The government will issue a circular in this regard on Wednesday," he said, adding that the launch operators should realise the existing fares from the passengers until a new chart comes into effect.
Director of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Rafiqul Islam and representatives from different government agencies are the members the committee.
"The committee will consider the interests of all the stakeholders, particularly of the passengers … the new fares will be less than that of the operators' demand," said the shipping secretary.
Vice-President of Bangladesh Inland Waterways (Passenger Carriers) Saidur Rahman Rintu told media that they have also requested the government to widen the road from Gulistan to Sadarghat to facilitate passengers smoothly reaching the Dhaka River Port Terminal at Sadarghat in the capital.
The shipping secretary said the MoS would request the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges to solve the problem.