Providing subsidy to power sector won’t be possible always: PM

Urging all to maintain austerity in electricity use, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said it will not be possible to always provide subsidy for power generation.

“It’s not always possible to give subsidy… everybody should keep it in mind,” she said.

The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating two power generation stations, 11 grid subcenter, six transmission lines and 100 percent electrification activities in 31 upazilas under 18 districts across the country virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.

Sheikh Hasina said the actual cost of power generation is much higher than the price per unit at the consumer level.

She mentioned that the government is still giving subsidy to provide power at a lower price to the consumer level. “We’re giving electricity connections to consumers at a lower rate compared to the production cost.”

The Prime Minister urged all to maintain austerity in using power because the government is giving a huge subsidy to this power sector.

She said the government has taken massive programmes for the development of the country so that people could attain their economic solvency. “The more people will attain their economic solvency, the more they’ll be able to give the price that we’re spending (for power generation).”

Hasina mentioned that the government has to create that capability for people. “That’s why we’re providing these facilities for people.”

Currently, she said, 97 percent people are now under the electricity coverage with the capacity of 23,548 MW while the government has set a target to raise the coverage to 100 percent by 2021.

“We’ve taken a plan to produce 24,000 MW by 2021, 40,000 MW by 2030 and 60,000 MW by 2041,” Hasina said.

The Prime Minister said the government is setting up 100 economic zones across the county where there will be industrialisation and employment generation for which more electricity will be needed.

She said the more people will “use Digital Bangladesh”, the more electricity the country will require.

“…we want to ensure economic development of the whole country; we want to ensure development of rural areas; we want to provide all urban facilities to rural areas,” she said.

Recalling the negligence of the BNP-Jamaat government towards Tungipara (Gopalganj), the birthplace of Father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, she said the present government never neglects any specific area in the process of development.

Of the two newly-built power generation stations, one is in Bogra, Hasina said.

Talking about the August-15, 1975 massacre, she said the whole nation had lost its future hope and desire with this massacre.

The Prime Minister said the government is working to materialise the desire, ideals, aims of the Father of the Nation to Liberate the country. “Our aim is to fulfil the Father of the Nation’s dreams, reach the goals, put a smile on people’s faces and give them a better life,” she said.

State Minister for Power and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid along with his officials were connected from his Ministry while a cross-section of beneficiaries from five districts also virtually connected with this programme.

The Prime Minister talked to some of the beneficiaries through the videoconference.

:UNB