The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) on Sunday called for discontinuation of the Speedy Supply of Power and Energy (Special) Act 2010, scheduled to expire in next October, in the interest of the country’s power and energy sector.
“We apprehend, if it continues, it would create room for corruption, reduce scope for competition and increase non-transparency in the project implementation process”, said Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Research Director of the think-tank said at a webinar presentation on “Power Sector in the National Budget for FY 2021-22: Perspective on Allocative Priorities & Reform Agenda.”
The law is supposed to expire on October 10 this year, he said.
The virtual seminar was organized by the CPD with its Chairman Prof. Rehman Sobhan in the chair.
It was addressed by energy expert and BUET teacher Prof. Dr M Tamim, Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (Sreda) Chairman Mohammad Alauddin, Power Cell Director General Mohammad Hossain, IDCOL Managing Director Mahmud Malik, Bangladesh Independent Power Producers Association (BIPPA) President Imran Karim and Mini-grid power plant operator Mojibur Rahman.
Executive Director of CDP Dr Famida Khatun moderated the discussion.
Dr. Golam Moazzem said the law was enacted targeting special needs in 2010.
He said Bangladesh’s energy and power sector now needs to shift its activities from ‘emergency management to ‘market-led’ management and it needs to improve its transparency, accountability and efficiency.
He noted that the power and energy sector received an allocation of Tk. 27,484 crore in which power got Tk 25398 crore and energy got Tk 2086 crore with 62 per cent of the focus on generation.
It now needs a shift in allocation more on transmission and distribution from generation, he said.
The CPD suggested increasing budget allocation for renewable energy saying that financial incentive should be further widened in the sector.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in renewable energy should be facilitated by making the domestic business environment favourable including making the businesses viable and de-risking, he added.
The power sector should be made competitive and all types of bidding should be held under ‘open bidding’ system maintaining transparency’, he added.
Dr M Tamim said there is a huge gap between the government’s figure of power generation capacity and the real scenario.
“We have actual deliverable capacity is 14,000 MW while the maximum generation capacity is 18,000 MW”, he said, adding, the statement about the 23,000 MW is a political propaganda.
He said Bangladesh should adopt its own model based on an appropriate technology to address its energy problem instead of following any other country’s model.
Mahammad Alauddin said the government is preparing a Delta Plan where the country’s renewable energy generation target was set at 30,000 MW by 2041.
Mohammad Hossain said the government is now trying to shift its focus on development of transmission and distribution lines from its current focus on generation.