Tk 2,400 cr subsidy for gas sector, Tk 5,089 for power sector enough to keep prices stable: CAB
Staff Correspondent: State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said tariffs on power and gas will be adjusted in such way that would not create any burden on people.
“I don’t know how much the prices will go up in the adjustment as the energy regulator will set the prices. But definitely it will not be a big burden on people,” he said.
The state minister was addressing a “Citizen Meeting” organised by Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) at the National Press Club yesterday.
The CAB organised the function, with its president Dr Ghulam Rahman in chair to unveil a book titled: “Bangladesh Energy Transformation Policy 2022 (proposed). The event was also addressed by economist Dr MM Akash, architect Mobassher Hossain, energy experts Dr Badrul Imam and Dr M Shamsul Alam.
The CAB placed an alternative proposal against the power and energy ministry’s move for raising power and gas prices saying if the government provides a subsidy of Tk 2,400 crore for the gas sector and Tk 5,089 for the power sector, it would not need to raise the prices.
The alternative proposal includes enhancing local gas production and shutting down costly rental, quick rental and inefficient power plants and checking the misuse of power and energy.
Defending the government’s decision on LNG import, Nasrul Hamid said that there is no alternative to import gas from abroad as the demand for energy is increasing day by day.
“New industries are coming into production. There 800 applications from industries to provide gas connections are now pending,” he said adding that if the LNG is not imported, many industries will face closure.
The government’s priority is to provide gas to industries as those provide thousands of jobs, he noted.
Dr Badrul Imam said the government has to import gas of 150 million cubic feet per day. But this gas could easily be extracted from the local gas fields through a workover process.
He suggested the government for bringing gas from Bhola to the country’s gas network through a pipeline.
Mobassher Hossain said it’s not clear why the government failed to explore gas after many years of winning in the maritime boundaries with neighboring India and Myanmar while the two countries are extracting their gas.
Ghulam Rahman said the government has a tendency to increase its dependency on gas import instead of exploring gas locally.
He said the people are immensely suffering for excessive hike in prices of essentials. “If the gas and power prices are raised now it will trigger the peoples’ anger,” he added.
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