State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that industries across the country will remain closed one day a week under a fresh area-based load shedding plan.
Under a staggering programme an area-based factory holidays will be maintained to minimise consumption of both natural gas and electricity.
He made the announcement after a meeting with business leaders at Bidyut Bhaban in the city on Sunday.
The rationing system will help saving around 500-550 MW of electricity, he said.
The government earlier on April 12 had imposed a four hour gas rationing for industries across the country from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm daily to save natural gas.
Although initial decision was to continue gas rationing for 15 days, the government backed down and withdrew it after 10 days of its execution amid protests from business enterprises.
During the meeting Nasrul said that the countrywide load-shedding will ease in September.
“Load-shedding can come down to half from the current level in September and the country may get rid of load-shedding from October,” he added.
During the meeting the business leaders requested to provide uninterrupted electricity supply and keep the captive power plants outside the purview of tariff hike.
Senior vice president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Mostafa Azad Chowdhury Babu, acting president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Shahid Ullah Azim were among the top business leaders took part in the meeting.
Under an ongoing austerity measure all the diesel-fired power plants are now shut and load-shedding is being implemented officially from July 19 to reduce diesel imports and save foreign currency.
Although area-based load-shedding was scheduled for one hour, it continued for three hours at a time in some city areas across the country, it is alleged.
Load-shedding in rural and remote areas, however, stretched for more hours, consumers claim.
Markets and shopping malls can now stay open until 8:00 pm.
The government also prohibited illumination in different social gatherings in community centers, shopping malls, shops, offices and houses since July 7.