Energy sector is now under the control of businessmen
Prof. Dr. M Shamsul Alam, Energy Advisor, Consumers Association of Bangladesh: The energy sector has actually gone under the control of businessmen. The government undoubtedly cares about the people, but such a situation could become the norm if the government lacks the flexibility to manage itself and is influenced by businesspeople – to the point where their decisions become government decisions. Unfortunately, this exact thing has happened in Bangladesh.
We are now experiencing or about to experience an economic pressure and an energy crisis. The electricity crisis has not even been resolved yet. Electricity is being produced at hiked prices; its production also growing by 10%. Yet there is no sign of this crisis negating. There is also a serious power crisis in the countryside. The power price hike that resulted from the rise in fuel oil prices, which had decreased for a while, is recurring. We are heading for a very delicate situation.
Once upon a time, we didn’t even have access to electricity; now, both production and prices are rising. If this continues, industrial production costs will rise. Even entrepreneurs cannot estimate by how much. When I receive orders for 2-3 years, I have to come to an understanding with the product receiver based on my expenditures.
However, if prices of electricity and gas fluctuate every now and then, I will have to operate my business at loss. We are trying to increase gas-electricity supply, but are not taking into account whether it will be financially viable, stable or will it be able to compete in an uneven economy under national-level policies after producing goods at an industrial level.
Based on an interview by Ashiq Rahman, translated by Abrar Hussain