Country’s Businessmen have raised their concern over the initiative to increase the gas prices as the production, transmission and distribution companies have started submitting proposals to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) to increase prices.
They said that if the price hikes, the cost of production will also go up, which will reduce the competitiveness of the industry and the revival of the economy amidst the epidemic will disrupt.
At the first meeting of the FBCCI's Standing Committee on Power, Energy and Utilities held at the FBCCI office on Wednesday, speakers came up with the call for not hiking the gas price.
During the meeting, FBCCI senior vice-president Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu said that China and India would continue to operate coal-fired power plants for another 20 years to sustain economic growth. Bangladesh should also take initiative to ensure the best use of coal reserves in the country.
Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu emphasized on expanding its gas exploration activities on a large scale. He said if Bapex could not do it alone, it should speed up the digging of exploration wells in a joint venture with the private sector.
Abul Kasem Khan, director-in-charge of the standing committee and director of the FBCCI, said the country's growing dependence on imports in the energy sector was not safe for the future. It is important to harness domestic resources to ensure long-term energy security and sustain industrialization. Abul Kasem Khan voted in favor of power generation by extracting coal. FBCCI Director Md. Naser complained that the businessmen are being deprived of the benefits of power generation due to extreme mismanagement in the distribution system.
Journalist Mollah M Amzad Hossain, a member of the standing committee, suggested that the management of the distribution companies be left to the private sector to bring order here. The government should drill at least 100 more wells to explore oil and gas.
Mollah M Amjad Hossain, editor of the ‘Energy and Power’ also called for maintaining gas and electricity connections to outside industries until the economic zones are fully ready.
The members of the committee demanded a one-stop solution to increase solar power generation, installation of solar panels in uncultivated lands of chars, government initiatives for research and development activities, and undertaking power generation projects from waste and rice husks.
The meeting was chaired by Humayun Rashid, Chairman of the Standing Committee and MD and CEO of Energypac Power Generation Limited.
He said the security of the country's energy sector would be disrupted if coordination between domestic and foreign sources in the power and energy sector was not ensured.
Among others, also present at the meeting were Committee Co-Chairman Md. Salauddin Yousuf, Mohammad Ali Deen, Nazmul Haque and FBCCI Secretary General Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque.