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Dhaka Wednesday,  Nov 21, 2018

Drawback in power sector during BNP regime ‘unprecedented’: PM

BSS

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the country’s drawback in power sector during BNP regime was unprecedented, which was not seen any part of the world.

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

“With the engagement of private sector, she said, the country’s total power
generation capacity rose to 4300 MW in five years. But, the generation
capacity unprecedentedly came down to 3200 MW in next five-year tenure of
BNP.

“I don’t know whether people of any country have such a bitter experience,”
she said while inaugurating National Power and Energy Week 2018 at function
at Bashundhara City International Convention Center here today.

Sheikh Hasina said production cost of every unit of electricity is around
Taka 6.25, but the government is making it available to people at Taka 4.82.

In future the government might withdraw the subsidy when country’s economy
would get better, she said urging the people to maintain austerity in using
electricity.

Reiterating AL’s firm commitment to make the country self-reliant in power
and energy, the prime minister said her government has attached highest
importance to regional cooperation in power sector with construction of power
plants and grid lines with neighbouring countries as well as BIMSTEC
countries.

Work is progressing to import more 500-MW 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 National Power and Energy Week 2018 is being observed with the theme
‘Onirban Agami’ aimed at showcasing the successes, current activities and
future plan of the power and energy sector to the people.

As well, the week will be featured with the programmes of debate competition
for school and college students, awarding journalists for best reporting and
employees for good performance, honouring public and private sector
entrepreneurs and energy consumers of residential, commercial and industrial
sectors for 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, Bir Bikram, 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 was in the chair.

Power Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus gave a presentation on the overall
activities and future plan of the sector while Mineral Resources Division
Secretary Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem spoke, among others, on the occasion.

An audio visual documentary was exhibited on development of the sector
during the tenure of the present government.

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