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PM: Govt might withdraw power subsidy

  • Published at 02:43 pm September 6th, 2018
File photo of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

She was inaugurating National Power and Energy Week 2018 at Bashundhara City International Convention Center in Dhaka

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the government might withdraw the subsidy for electricity when the country’s economy improves.

“In future we might withdraw the subsidy when the country’s economy gets better,” she said while inaugurating National Power and Energy Week 2018, at Bashundhara City International Convention Center, in Dhaka, on Thursday, reports BSS.

Hasina urged the people to maintain austerity in using electricity.

She said the production cost of every unit of electricity is around Tk6.25, but the government is making it available to people at Tk4.82.

The prime minister said the country’s shortages in the power sector during BNP’s rule were unprecedented. “I do not know whether people of any country have had such a bitter experience.” 

Bangladesh’s total electricity generation capacity was 1600 megawatt (MW) when Awami League assumed power in 1996. Most parts of the country were immersed in darkness at that time, and the government, for the first time, engaged the private sector to boost electricity generation.

The prime minister said that by engaging the private sector, the country’s total power generation capacity rose to 4300MW in five years. But, the generation capacity unprecedentedly decreased to 3200MW in BNP’s following five-year tenure. 

Reiterating Awami League’s commitment to making the country self-reliant on power and energy, the prime minister said her government has prioritized regional cooperation in the power sector by constructing power plants and grid lines— with neighbouring countries as well as member of countries Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation. 

Work is progressing to import 500MW more electricity from India and hydropower from Nepal and Bhutan. Bangladesh, India, and Bhutan are waiting to sign a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the power sector, she said.

The theme of National Power and Energy Week 2018 is ‘Onirban Agami.’It aims to showcase the successes, current activities, and plans of the power and energy sector..

The week will feature a debate competition for school and college students; an award ceremony for talented journalists and employees who perform well; and the presentation of honors for public and private sector entrepreneurs – and energy consumers of residential, commercial and industrial sectors – who maintain good practices.

Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation of Nepal Barsha Man Pun Ananta, Prime Minister’s Power and Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, and Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Power and Energy Md Tajul Islam attended the function as special guests—while State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid chaired the event.

Energy Week also screened a documentary about how the energy sector has developed during the tenure of the present government.