Hasina asks why gas and power should be subsidised, urges people to pay

The PM says the government is being criticised for hiking power costs though the price per kW is only Tk 6 while it takes Tk 12 to produce

News Desk
Published : 5 Feb 2023, 08:45 AM
Updated : 5 Feb 2023, 08:45 AM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has questioned the need for the significantly subsidised cost of gas and electricity in Bangladesh and urged people to pay their share of the actual cost.

“The gas and electricity supply can be given, if all agree to pay the purchasing costs,” she said on Sunday, according to the state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha. “How much subsidy can be given to it? And why should we give subsidies to it?”

The premier said it takes Tk 12 to produce a kilowatt of electricity, but the current price at retail is only Tk 6. Despite this large subsidy, the government is being criticised for hiking power costs, she said.

Hasina compared the situation in Bangladesh to that of England, where power prices have risen 150 percent.

“We’ve not reached this stage yet,” she said.

The prime minister also called upon everyone to invest in Bangladesh to help it develop.

“Please, everyone, invest (in the country). It will not only bring benefits for yourself, but also for the country,” she said.

She emphasised the expansion of exports by incorporating new export items and seeking new markets.

“Bangladesh will progress further through both local and foreign investment, and Bangladesh will be a developed country by 2041,” she said.

Hasina’s statements came during the inauguration of the new Investment Building for the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority in Dhaka’s Agargaon.

The multi-storey Investment Building will be used as the offices of three agencies – BIDA, the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) and the National Skills Development Authority (NSDA).