State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has reiterated his call to people to be patient to overcome the current crisis in the power and energy sector.
"If we keep adequate patience, we will be able to come out of such a slump," he said at a virtual discussion meeting titled: Contribution of Bangabandhu to the Development of Power and Energy Sector" on Tuesday.
The state minister's remarks came against the backdrop of the government's recent decision on raising petroleum fuel prices between 42-52 per cent and introducing area-wise load shedding, reports UNB.
Former vice chancellor of Dhaka University AAMS Arefin Siddique was the key discussant in the webinar, organised by the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources on the occasion of the National Mourning Day with the senior secretary of the Energy and Mineral Resources Mahbub Hossain in the chair.
Terming the current crisis fallout of the Russia-Ukraine war, Nasrul Hamid said Bangladesh is not out of the global situation.
He said the current crisis is temporary and the price of petroleum fuel will be readjusted if and when price decreases in the global market.
Nasrul mentioned that many countries in the world have been facing trouble since the war began. The United Kingdom and Germany had to reopen their coal-fired power plants for electricity, he added.
Nasrul Hamid said the government had a plan to ensure uninterrupted power supply all over the country including the rural areas by end of the current year.
"We've already reached electricity to the doorsteps of cent per cent people. But the war obstructed the implementation of the plan."
He blasted opposition BNP for plundering state wealth during its rule.
He said the Awami League government increased the power generation capacity to over 25,000 MW.
"We've added 1000 mmcfd gas to the national grid 2 floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) were set up for gas import," he said, adding, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina first allowed the private investment in the power sector after assuming office in 1996.
The virtual seminar was also addressed Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on power, energy and mineral resources Begum Waseka Aysha Khan, Power Secretary Habibur Rahman, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) Chairman ABM Azad, Bangladesh Power Development (BPDB) Chairman Mahbubur Rahman, Petrobangla Chairman Nazmul Ahsan and Power Cell Director General Mohammad Hossain.
AASM Arefin Siddique said Bangabandhu first incorporated the development of power and energy sector in the first national development plan.
Mahbub Hossain said the current crisis was caused by external forces. "Big powers have been engaged in war, but the small nations like Bangladesh have to face its consequences."
He claimed that the country's economy is founded on a strong base and it will be possible to overcome all the economic challenges soon.