The country is moving fast towards energy self-sufficiency, thanks to the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Since the beginning her government understood it well that by developing one sector – which is energy sector – it will be able to kick-start growth in all other sectors of economy. Thus it unleashed a breakneck growth in investment in power sector and increased the country’s power generation capacity from a meagre 4,942 MW in 2009 to nearly 20,000MW in 2018.
The rise in electricity generation immensely contributed to industrial and agricultural growth and job creation. The country’s recent graduation from LDC to developing country speaks volumes about its economic development.Aside from influencing the economic growth, increased capacity in power production also brought huge relief for the mass people as load shedding has become rare now. The government is committed to electrifying every home in the country by 2021. So far, it says, around 90 per cent households can avail themselves of electric facility. So, it is assumed that the government will fulfil its promise well ahead of the timeframe.
But we the consumers must use electricity in a prudent and calculative manner because the government is giving huge subsidy in this sector and providing electricity at a much cheaper rate than its production cost. In this light Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged all to exercise austerity in electricity consumption warning that “electricity may not be available at present low rate in future.”
Electricity pricing is a politically sensitive issue, and yet, in this election year the government is speaking of raising power tariff to lessen subsidy in this sector.
But apart from instilling austerity measures at consumer level, we hope the authorities concerned will also think of lessening power production cost, getting rid of illegal electricity lines and reducing system loss. There are reports of rampant misuse of electricity lines and widespread pilfering of electricity, which happens often in collaboration of corrupt officials and political strongmen. So, efforts must continue to stop illegal use of electricity and increase efficiency of power production and distribution agencies.