In recent times, the Bangladesh’s economy has been experiencing unprecedented challenges due to the on-going global economic crisis and broken supply chain system. One of the pressing challenges that our economy faces is the primary energy supply crunch as we have huge import dependency for primary energy sourcing. The recent retail electricity tariff hike, although relatively minimal, will ultimately create an additional economic burden on the smooth operations of the private sector and power intensive industries. This is because of the private sector are already struggling with high inflation and devaluation of local currency along with other economic challenges.
Though the Government is compelled towards such a move due to volatile international energy prices, Barrister Md. Sameer Sattar, President of Dhaka Chamber hopes that the Government will continue to adjust the tariff rationally in order to minimize the adverse impact on the private sector and local industries. Also, since it is understood that the Government is already working on a plan to introduce a system for adjusting power and energy prices every month, the President of Dhaka Chamber appeals to the Government for a competitive, predictable and gradual hike in electricity tariff in order to avoid any sudden price shock to the private sector. Barrister Sattar suggests that, since price hike is inevitable given the current situation, it is important that a predictable price hike policy is put into place by the Government so that the private sector can make necessary planning for their businesses ahead. Through this, the private businesses will be able to take considered decisions as to how they will strategize their businesses for the days to come. Also, even if there is a price hike to deal with the current challenges, it is important that the Government should be prepared to bring the power prices down once the challenges are over. It should not be a one-way road.
Since, Bangladesh has a high dependency on energy import, Barrister Sattar also urged the Government to explore renewable and alternative energy sources and more importantly, prioritize local gas exploration. To deal with any power shortage, the Government should regularly check the efficiency of all power plants and minimize any system loss. The President of Dhaka Chamber feels that energy and power are key resources to maintain industrial and investment competitiveness in Bangladesh.
Published on: 2023-01-14