Rotating power outages will be over from late September: state minister

The state minister asks everyone to be patient until then

Published : 14 August 2022, 05:57 PM
Updated : 14 August 2022, 05:57 PM

State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid is hopeful that the nationwide rolling power cuts will be a thing of the past from the end of September.

The government will lower fuel prices once the costs go down in the global market, he said while speaking at a seminar on Sunday.

“Our situation will hopefully improve if the state of the world doesn’t deteriorate further,” Nasrul said.

The government moved on several fronts to reduce power and fuel oil expenses to avoid an acute economic crisis after the fuel cost surged in the international market.

The government also cut electricity production to reduce fuel imports in an effort to save US dollars. Bangladesh reverted to regular power cuts after the government stopped importing LNG from spot markets in July.

“We are observing the situation of the global [market]. It hasn’t been long since the price adjustment. I ask everyone to be patient for at least a couple of months. We’ll be able to reduce [fuel] prices when it drops [in the international market].”

The government’s decision to increase fuel prices from 42-51 percent in one go has been greeted with severe criticism.

Nasrul castigated the BNP-Jamaat-e-Islam coalition government’s energy policy, especially their decision to cancel the proposal to draw a gas pipeline over Bangladesh from Myanmar which could have “spurred Bangladesh’s economic growth”.

He recalled “16-17 hour power cuts” and how foreign investments saw dark days during the regime.

“They had no plans to make Bangladesh the world’s second-largest garment exporter,” the state minister said and added that the 2001-2006 government “championed corruption”.

He pointed out the successes of the incumbent government. “We were doing very well. The Power Division has fully electrified Bangladesh.”

“Base load [power plants] are popping up now. You will now see coal-based power plants. Many experts pushed us against setting up coal power plants.”

“The United Kingdom is keeping its abandoned coal power plants ready and the Germans have already started up theirs. No German environmentalist is speaking up against it now.”

He stressed the crisis was a “temporary” one and so was the Russia-Ukraine war.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher