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Dhaka Tribune

Activists: Resources for citizens first, not foreign investors

Update : 25 May 2017, 10:32 PM
The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port has alleged that the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources has been siding with foreign multinational companies while overlooking local needs. In a press statement on Thursday, the committee's Convenor Sheikh Muhammad Shahidullah and Member Secretary Anu Muhammad raised questions as to how Chevron sold off the most abundant Bangladeshi gas block to a Chinese company over local equivalents. The committee said these natural resources are invaluable for the country and the government should be more cautious about how they are extracted and used. Also questioning why certain companies are being given more privileges than other, the committee said that information about production of power and fuels should be as transparent as possible, so as to minimise corruption at all levels. The committee said: “How can the government decide to export gas through a foreign company to other countries, when we have a shortage of gas for our own use? Also, the government has considered damaging the Sundarbans for the sake of the NTPC's [Indian National Thermal Power Corporation’s] profits. “We can clearly see that instead of prioritising the needs of our people, the government is more sympathetic towards the needs of foreign investors. Those involved with laundering natural resources should be brought to justice, just as the war criminals were.” The committee also raised similar questions regarding the terms of operation for companies like Chevron, Asia Energy, Reliance Adani, Gazprom, Niko Petroleum and other foreign companies associated with natural resources in the country.
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