Friday, 19 April, 2019

Highest importance attached to regional cooperation in power sector: PM

Published on: 8:30 pm - Thursday | September 6, 2018

Reiterating Awami League’s firm commitment to make the country self-reliant in power and energy, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday 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 Premier said this while inaugurating “National Power and Energy Week 2018” at a function at Bashundhara City International Convention Center in Dhaka today, reports BSS.

She also 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, 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, she said adding, “I don’t know whether people of any country have such a bitter experience.”

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.

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 completion 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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