Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport’s third terminal will have its soft opening on October 7. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the new terminal. Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Mafidur Rahman, chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB), said this during a press conference on Tuesday (August 08, 2023) noon at the under-construction third terminal. Read: 12 boarding bridges will be operational when Dhaka Airport’s 3rd Terminal partially opens this Oct: CAAB “We were informed yesterday (August 7) by the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) that the premier will inaugurate the third terminal at a soft opening on October 7,” the CAAB chief said. However, he said, passengers will be able to fully use the third terminal by the end of 2024. Read: Groundhandling contract for Terminal 3 will go to Japan: CAAB chairman “We want to complete 90 percent of the third terminal project before October 7, and we are optimistic that the work will be finished ahead of schedule,” added the CAAB chairman.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday (July 19, 2023) said the government is trying to bring back the money siphoned off by BNP leaders to different countries. “The money of many BNP leaders remains frozen (in foreign banks). We’ve been trying to bring these back gradually,” she said. Hasina, also president of Bangladesh Awami League (AL), was addressing a meeting of the AL-led 14-party alliance held at her official residence Ganabhaban in the evening. Also read: Denmark keen to invest in offshore wind energy in Bangladesh: Envoy Criticising the family of BNP leader Khaleda Zia for ‘their corruption’, she said the World Bank stopped financing during the BNP regime due to corruption in the road sector. The PM said the corruption committed by Khaleda Zia’s two sons Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Koko got revealed even before the foreigners and an FBI agent testified against Tarique in a money laundering case. She said the government was able to return Tk 40 crore from the amount of money they (Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Koko) laundered to foreign countries. “But the problem is that bringing back the money from the countries where they deposited is a difficult matter. The countries don’t want to release the money,” she added. Also read: Need to transform education system to build Smart Bangladesh: PM Hasina tells educators Focusing on her government’s success, the prime minister said Bangladesh has significantly advanced in every sector since 2009 during the regime of her government. “We can at least claim that Bangladesh has changed a lot in the last 14 and a half years. You can definitely realize it as well,” she said. Hasina said her government has successfully brought the poverty rate down to 18.6 percent now from 41 percent in 2006, while the extreme poverty rate to 5.7 percent from 25.1 percent. She said the government has been able to boost the production of foods including crops, fish, meat and vegetable, as well as provided free semi-pucca houses to 600,000 landless families and reached electricity facility to every house by raising power generation capacity significantly. Also read: Govt is always with you: PM Hasina tells businesspeople “We’ve achieved the electricity generation capacity to 25,000 megawatts within the 14 and a half years,” she said. The PM said there is no shortage of rice and other crops in Bangladesh. Noting that the government is setting up 100 special economic zones to generate employment, the PM said the unemployment rate came down to only 3 percent in the country. Also read: US visa policy to supplement govt commitment to hold free election: Uzra Zeya tells PM She said the government continues its steps to create entrepreneurs by providing different stimulus packages and training to the youth to bring down the unemployment rate further. “We’ve taken and implemented massive works not only for the infrastructural development of Bangladesh but also for its socio-economic upliftment,” she said. PM Hasina said Bangladesh today is considered as a role model for development throughout the world. Also read: Staying away from corruption can make possible the impossible: PM Hasina tells govt officials
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday (June 5, 2023) said the Awami League government has established the rule of law in the country, ending the culture of lawlessness that existed during the rule of BNP. The premier made these remarks when the newly elected leaders of Bangladesh Supreme Court Bar Association paid a courtesy call on her at her official residence Ganabhaban. PM’s Deputy Press Secretary Hasan Jahid Tusher briefed reporters after the meeting. She congratulated the newly elected leaders of the Supreme Court Bar Association. She said BNP introduced the culture of forced disappearance, killings and lawlessness through the indemnity ordinance proclaimed after the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members. Also Read: Plant trees to shield Bangladesh from climate change: PM Hasina Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, said did not have right to seek and get justice after the assassination of the Father of the Nation. “It was a gross violation of human rights. Today, we’ve been able to free the country from the phenomenon of not getting justice. The Awami League government always believes in justice,” she said. She said the AL government has made arrangements for people to get justice. “Our government has digitized the judicial system so that people can get justice in a short time without facing sufferings,” she said. The PM said her government has made it (trial proceedings) virtual during the Corona pandemic so that people can get justice in a short time, staying at home. Also Read: Volatile global situation likely to worsen further: PM Hasina tells parliament Noting that the people are suffering due to electricity amid the ongoing heat wave, she said, “We’ve trying out best and taking necessary measures in this regard.” Hasina said Bangladesh has witnessed impressive development thanks to the continuation of democracy for the last 14 and half years in the country. She said Bangladesh has graduated to a developing country due to dedicated efforts of the Awami League government. “We’ve been working to make Bangladesh a developed and prosperous country,” the PM said. Also Read: PM Hasina slams critics and vows to implement the budget for FY23-24 Law Minister Anisul Huq and AL advisory council member and senior lawyer Yusuf Hossain Humayun were present at the meeting. Among the newly elected leaders of Supreme Court Bar Association, its President Advocate Md Momtaz Uddin Fakir, Secretary Abdun Noor Dulal, vice presidents Mohammad Ali Azzam and Jesmin Sultana, Treasurer Masud Alam Chowdhury, Sr. assistant secretaries A.B.M. Noor-A-Alam (Uzzal) and Mohammad Harun-ur-Rashid, members Mohiuddin Ahmed (Rudra), Shafique Raihan Shawon, Safayet Hossain (Sajeeb), Delowar Hossain, Mohammad Najmul Huda and Suvas Chandra Das were present. In March last, pro-Awami League lawyers panel Bangabandhu Awami Ainjibi Parishad won all the 14 posts of executive committee of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) in the annual election.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated his stance for working with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to take the existing bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Turkey to a new height. The re-elected president of Turkey said this during a telephone call to PM Hasina at around 11:15 pm on Wednesday (May 31, 2023). The two leaders exchanged greetings and spoke to each other for 10 minutes, according to a press release from PMO Press Wing. Hasina congratulated Erdogan on securing victory at the second round election, where the voter turnout rate was above 86 percent. Read more: What 5 more years of Erdogan's rule means for Turkey She expressed her happiness over her confidence that the people of Turkey would make the right choice, which was proved after the runoff election. PM Hasina reiterated that the People of Bangladesh would remain steadfast to stand by the brotherly people of Turkey at any time of need, as during the February 2023 earthquake. President Erdogan expressed his gratitude that the brotherly people of Bangladesh mentally joined the jubilant people of Turkey at his victory in the second round election. To this end, he thanked the people of Bangladesh and wished to further strengthen the ties between the two peoples. Read more: Turkey's Erdogan retains power, now faces challenges over the economy and earthquake recovery Hasina conveyed her best wishes to Erdogan and his family members and wished continued peace, progress, and prosperity through him to the people of Turkey.
State hydrocarbons agency Petrobangla’s is close to receiving the nod from the very top, to invite a round of international bidding for Bangladesh's offshore gas blocks based on its new model production sharing contract (Model PSC) within the current year. A proposal in this regard was recently sent to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for its approval to proceed, UNB understands from its sources. “We’ve received initial approval from the Energy and Mineral Resources Division and then, as the next step, it was forwarded to the PMO as Prime Minister is the in-charge of the ministry,” said a top official of Petrobangla, preferring not to be named in discussing the sensitive issue. He said after the PM's approval, it would be placed in the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for the very final approval, as it acts as the highest policymaking body. Since the PM heads the CCEA, that should be a formality once it passes her desk. Read: ‘Excessive delay’ in clearing dues: BPDB could end up paying independent power producers Tk 6000cr more Then Petrobangla will be free to move towards inviting the international bidding round, he noted. Earlier, Petrobangla updated its Model PSC, to make it more attractive for international oil companies (IOCs) to explore for oil and gas in the country’s maritime areas in the Bay of Bengal. In the new Model PSC, the gas price will be offered at 10 percent of Brent Crude, the most traded of all the oil and gas benchmarks. It means if Brent is being traded at $75 per barrel, the price at which the government would buy any gas the company is able to produce at $7.5 per thousand cubic feet (MCF). “The gas price will always remain linked with the international oil price,” said the official, referring to the new provision in the 'Model PSC 2023'. Read: Bangladesh needs to develop a National Hydrogen Strategy, says Australia-based scientist Dr Nawshad There will also be no difference between the price of gas in shallow or deep water blocks, he said. This is another change from the previous PSC. “If the oil price goes down or up, the gas price will follow it rationally and Bangladesh will purchase the gas from the IOCs at this rate,” said the official. Under a Model PSC, normally, if any IOC discovers gas, it gets a 40 percent stake while the government obtains the remaining 60 percent. The government also buys the IOC's gas at a certain price. So if the gas price is raised, IOCs feel encouraged to invest in exploration works. Read: Petrobangla initiates move to end foreign company’s monopoly in pre-paid gas metering system The government had last amended the Model PSC in mid-2019, whereby the price of gas for any participating IOC, that is, the price at which they would sell the gas to the government, was set at $5.5 per MCF for shallow water blocks, and $7.25 per MCF for gas extracted from deep sea blocks. Scottish consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie was appointed last year to update the Model PSC - specifically, to make it more attractive to IOCs. Petrobangla chairman Zanendra Nath Sarker recently said the organisation forwarded its proposal to the Energy and Mineral Resources Division for approval with a plan to go for international bidding by July or August this year. Officials said previously many IOCs were reluctant to participate in the bidding of the exploration due to the low price offered by Bangladesh. Read More: Petrobangla initiates move to end foreign company’s monopoly in pre-paid gas metering system Official sources said the recent excessive hikes in petroleum fuel price, especially that of liquefied natural gas (LNG), prompted the government to go for further amending the existing PSC so that the IOCs get interested to invest here. The country has a total of 48 blocks of which 26 are located offshore and 22 onshore. Of the 26 offshore blocks, 11 are located in shallow sea (SS) water while 15 are located in deep sea (DS) water areas. Of these, 24 offshore gas blocks remain open for IOCs while two blocks -SS-04 and SS-09-are under contract with a joint venture of ONGC Videsh Ltd and Oil India Ltd where drilling works have recently started. Bangladesh's offshore area remains largely unexplored, especially its deep sea (DS) blocks, despite the settlement of its dispute with neighbouring Myanmar and India over the maritime boundary almost nine years ago. Read more: Govt planning to invite int’l bidding for offshore blocks with more attractive PSC Currently, about 2300 mmcfd gas is being produced from 22 gas fields in Bangladesh, while about 700 mmcfd gas is being imported from abroad to meet the demand of about 4000 mmcfd, leaving a deficit of about 1000 mmcfd daily.
The government of Bangladesh is preparing to invite international bidding for the country's offshore gas blocks by making the model production sharing contract (Model PSC) more attractive for international oil companies (IOCs) to invest in hydrocarbon exploration in the Bay. “We’re going to offer the price of gas at 10 percent of Brent Crude,” a top official of Petrobangla, the state hydrocarbons agency, told UNB, referring to the most traded of all of the oil benchmarks. The official, preferring anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue, said if Brent oil is traded at $75 per barrel, the gas price would be $7.5 per thousand cubic feet (MCF). The gas price will always remain linked with the international oil price, he said, referring to the new provision of the 'Model PSC 2023'. Also read: Petrobangla to amend Model PSC further to attract IOCs in offshore gas exploration But there will be no difference between the price of gas in shallow and deep water blocks, he said. “If the oil price goes down or up, the gas price will follow it rationally and Bangladesh will purchase the explored gas from the IOCs at this rate,” said the official. Under a Model PSC, normally, if any IOC discovers gas, it gets a 40 percent stake while the government obtains the remaining 60 percent. The government also buys the IOC's gas at a certain price. So if the gas price is raised, IOCs feel encouraged to invest in exploration works. Read More: Govt expedites gas exploration activities to increase primary fuel supply: Nasrul Hamid The government had last amended the Model PSC in mid-2019, whereby the price of gas for any participating IOC, that is, the price at which they would sell the gas to the government, was raised to $5.5 per MCF for shallow water blocks, and $7.25 per MCF for gas extracted from its deep sea blocks. The source also informed that the new proposal has been prepared as per the recommendations of a Scottish consultancy firm, Wood Mackenzie, which was appointed last year to work out the new plan for Petrobangla to attract the international bidding for IOCs. Talking to reporters, Petrobangla chairman Zanendra Nath Sarker recently said the organisation has recently forwarded its proposal with the Scottish consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie’s recommendation to the Energy and Mineral Resources Division of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources seeking its approval for the plan. Read More: Amid nationwide gas shortages, new exploration work continues in Sylhet The ministry will now seek the approval of the Prime Minister’ Office for Petrobangla's plan. “Once we receive the nod of the PMO and the ministry, we would place a proposal to the Cabinet Economic Affairs Committee for the final approval,” he added. Another senior official of Petrobangla also said that as soon as the Cabinet body approves the proposal, the organisation will invite international bidding within two months. “In this case, we hope we can go for bidding within July or August next,” he told UNB preferring anonymity. He said previously many IOCs were reluctant to participate in the bidding of the exploration due to the price offered by Bangladesh. Read More: Accelerate gas exploration to overcome energy crisis: ICCB “Now we hope it will be a lucrative offer for the IOCs to invest in the offshore areas of Bangladesh for gas exploration,” he added. Petrobangla appointed Wood Mackenzie last year to help amend the Model PSC 2019, to attract international oil companies amid the volatile international fuel market. Official sources said the recent excessive hike in petroleum fuel price, especially that of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has prompted the government to go for further amending the existing PSC so that the IOCs get interested to invest here. The country has a total of 48 blocks of which 26 are located offshore and 22 onshore. Of the 26 offshore blocks, 11 are located in shallow sea (SS) water while 15 are located in deep sea (DS) water areas. Read More: Russian Embassy refutes TIB statement on Dhaka-Moscow grain deals, gas exploration Of these, 24 offshore gas blocks remain open for IOCs while two blocks -SS-04 and SS-09-are under contract with a joint venture of ONGC Videsh Ltd and Oil India Ltd where drilling works have recently started. There was a target to invite international bidding in March 2020 for exploration in offshore areas, but that got postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic that emerged at exactly the same time. "The recent upward trend in oil and gas price has pushed the policymakers to further raise the gas price by introducing much more flexibility and incentives including keeping the export option open in the PSC," said another Petrobangla official. He mentioned that the government had to import LNG at $36 per MMBtu while it was just below $10 early last year. Read More: Gas Fields in Bangladesh: Exploration of 2 more wells expected to begin this year The latest Russian invasion of Ukraine has further deepened the global market volatility pushing up the petroleum fuel price over $100 per barrel, the highest in the last 7 years. Now again the oil and gas prices are on a downward trend and Brent crude oil is traded at $75 per barrel while LNG price is at below $14 per MMBtu. Bangladesh's offshore area remains unexplored despite the settlement of its dispute with neighbouring Myanmar and India over the maritime boundary almost nine years ago. Currently, about 2300 mmcfd gas is being produced from 22 gas fields in the country, while about 700 mmcfd gas is being imported from abroad to meet the demand of about 4000 mmcfd, leaving a deficit of about 1000 mmcfd. Read More: US companies encouraged for oil, gas exploration in Bangladesh's offshore
The government has placed two proposals seeking assistance from international community to relocate more Rohingya people to Bhashan Char island from camps in Cox’s Bazar for the wellbeing of the displaced Myanmar nationals. Under the proposals Dhaka wants foreign countries and agencies to bear the expenses of the Rohingya relocation and provide assistance to construct more infrastructures in Bhashan Char to make the remaining two-third areas of the island livable for the displaced people. PM’s Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah placed the proposals at a meeting with the foreign diplomats and representatives stationed in Dhaka, held at the Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday. The representatives from 17 countries and agencies, including Australia, US, UK, France, Germany and UNHCR attended meeting. “We’ve told the international community that the more people we can bring to Bhashan Char in a very quick time, the more their safety and the betterment of their children will be ensured. So, now we’ve given them two proposals,” the principal secretary told the media after the meeting. About the first proposal, he said housing for one lakh people was built in Bhasan Char and only 30,000 people have so far been moved there. “Now we want to shift 70,000 more people to the place, which is an expensive matter. We ask the friendly countries who work with us to bear the cost of taking these people from Cox's Bazar to Bhashan Char. The Prime Minister seriously wants it,” he added. Talking about the second proposal, Tofazzel said only one-third of land of the Bhashan Char was used (for infrastructure to house one lakh Rohingya) and now the Prime Minister wants the infrastructures to be constructed in the remaining two-third land and more Rohingyas to be taken there. “So, Bangladesh has sought assistance (from foreign friends) to construct new infrastructures,” he said. In the meeting, the foreign countries and agencies were asked to put importance to the Rohingya issue in different international forums, he said. The principal secretary said Rohingya people will get better life and livelihood in Bhashan Char as they get skill development training and opportunities for agricultural works including raising chickens and ducks, and rearing cows and goats. Read more: PM to leave Dhaka for Doha on Mar 4 to attend LDC5 Conference He mentioned that the Rohingyas taken to Bhashan Char are brought to the mainland camps to meet their relatives in Cox's Bazar regularly. Turning to the sufferings of the Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar, he said several social problems, including internal conflict, infighting, arson violence, killing and trafficking are being created due to the stay of Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar. Many of them are involved in drug business, he added. Noting that the fund to conduct humanitarian activities for Rohingyas is not being received as per commitment of the donors, Tofazzel said Bangladesh received some US$ 586 million which is 62 percent of the committed amount of US$ 876 million in 2022. So, Bangladesh asked the friendly countries to provide the increased amount. He said the government spent some Tk 3,100 crore only to prepare Bhashan Char. Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Brewer, Canadian High Commissioner Lilly Nicholls, EU Ambassador Charles Whiteley, UK High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson, US Ambassador Peter D. Haas, French Ambassador Marie Masdupuy, German Ambassador Achim Troster, Swedish Ambassador Alexandra Berg von Linde, UN Resident Coordinator Gwyn Lewis, UNHCR Representative Johannes van der Klaauw, WFP Resident Representative Dom Scalpelli, Chargés d'affaires of Switzerland embassy Suzanne Mueller, Deputy Head of Japanese Mission Machida Tatsuya, Deputy Chief of Netherlands Embassy Thijs Woudstra, Deputy Chief of Turkish Embassy Batuhan Gurhan, Head of Cooperation for Rohingya Refugees and Host Communities Program of Canadian High Commission Vivek Prakash and Regional Refugee Coordinator of the US Embassy Mackenzie Rowe attended the meeting. High officials from different ministries concerned including the senior secretaries of the Foreign Ministry and the Public Security Division, and the secretaries of Relief and Disaster Management Ministry and the PMO, were present in the meeting.
The financial loss of the state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) is likely to cross Tk 54,000 crore in the current fiscal after the hike in the price of gas increased their input cost. In 2021-22 its losses were Tk 29,915 crore. “We have to count Tk 10,000 crore extra cost to pay the gas bills following the new gas price enhancement,” a top official of the BPDB told UNB. He said the new cost of gas purchase was already communicated to the Power Division which had already raised the issue at a high-level meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) seeking further instruction. The government on January 18 raised the retail gas prices for public, private and captive power plants and also for industries and commercial users with effect from February 1. Also Read: Saudi firm, BPDB sign deal to set up 1000MW solar power plant in Bangladesh As per the new government announcement, the gas prices have been increased by almost three times for public and private power plants while almost double for captive power plants and industries, and significantly hiked for commercial users. However, prices for household consumers, CNG-run for motor vehicles and tea estates were kept unchanged. The Energy and Mineral Resources Division set the prices through a gazette notification issued on Wednesday applying the new amendment to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) Act, which empowered the government to set all kinds of energy prices bypassing the regulator’s jurisdictions at any time. As per the gazette notification, the public and private power plants including the IPP and rental power plants will pay gas price at Tk 14 per unit (each cubic metre) instead of previous price of Tk 5.02. The rise is 179 percent. Read More: The Tk 700 crore per month hole in the deal with Adani Power The captive power plants, small power plants and commercial power plants will pay Tk 30 per unit instead of the previous price of Tk 16 which is an 88 percent rise. It means after the current enhancement in gas price, the loss in the space of one fiscal will go up by over Tk 24,000 crore, said the sources at the BPDB - an almost 80 percent jump. According to BPDB’s own latest estimates, the financial loss was supposed to cross Tk 48,000 crore in the 2022-23 fiscal from Tk 29,915 crore in the fiscal year 2021-22. But after the hike in bulk power tariff, the loss was calculated to come down by about Tk 4000 to Tk 44,000 crore. “But now the loss will go up by Tk 10,000 crore due to the gas price hike effective from February 1,” said the official referring to their latest calculation. Read More: Saudi firm, BPDB sign deal to set up 1000MW solar power plant in Bangladesh The directorate of finance of BPDB prepared this calculation on the basis of an audited report, official sources said. On November 21, the bulk power tariff was raised by about 19.92 percent – to Tk 6.20 per kilowatt hour (each unit) from the previous Tk 5.17 – with effect from December 2022. As per the calculation, the loss has shot up excessively mainly for the two reasons — primary fuel price escalation and devaluation of the local currency. "Among the two, the devaluation of local currency emerged as the major reason," a top official of the BPDB told UNB. Read More: BPDB’s financial loss set to increase by over two-thirds to Tk 48,000cr He informed that the BPDB was going to incur a loss of about Tk 10,000 crore solely due to the high rate of dollar. Earlier, the US dollar exchange rate was calculated at Tk 85 which is now at Tk 107 which means the cost increased by Tk 22 per dollar. The BPDB has to pay about $9 billion annually to buy electricity from private sector plants, to pay capacity charges and also to import other materials from abroad for its own purposes. The BPDB has a power purchase agreement with a huge number of private power generation companies to buy their electricity. Available statistics reveal, currently, the country’s installed power generation capacity is over 25,500 MW and more than 50 percent of electricity is generated by the private sector through independent power producers, rental and quick rental power plants. Read More: BPDB submits retail power tariff adjustment proposal seeking a 19.44 percent hike Import of electricity from India is also counted as private sector generation. The private sector operators mainly use furnace oil, natural gas and diesel. Of these, 4,700 MW is generated by using furnace oil.
Bangladesh Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has been collecting necessary information and data from two divisions and their associate bodies in the power and energy sector to make some policy decisions on power, gas, and petroleum prices. According to official sources, the PMO will soon reconvene a recently postponed meeting to discuss the issues where dealing with a tough possible situation in the coming summer might top the agenda. They said that the PMO had convened a meeting on December 15 to discuss the overall situation in the power and energy sector. “But at the last moment, the meeting was postponed”, said a top official in the Power Division adding that a new principal secretary to the Prime Minister and also a new cabinet secretary took office on the day for which the meeting was postponed. Read: Dhaka seeks Riyadh's support to meet energy needs “We hope the suspended meeting will be called soon where the two top bureaucrats may attend”, he said. The issue of power tariff enhancement in the retail consumer level will get a top priority in the proposed meeting”, said a senior official of the largest organisation in the power sector, preferring not to be quoted because of its sensitivity. Power Cell director general Mohammad Hossain said that his organisation has also provided necessary data to the PMO and the Power Division as per their requirements. Official sources said the PMO is collecting data and information against the backdrop of the government’s plan to increase power tariff at retail consumer level to cover a huge flaw in the power sector’s revenue collection. Read: Ensuring access to electricity at an affordable cost is govt’s prime goal: PM’s Energy Advisor Because of the purchase of electricity from the private sector at higher rates and sell it to consumers at lower rates, the loss of Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), state-owned principal organisation, was estimated to be Tk 48,000 crore in the current fiscal year 2022-23. The officials said the recent hike of about 20 percent in bulk power tariff, effective from December 1, might reduce the loss by only Tk 5000 crore. To cover the remaining loss, all the six distribution companies were asked by the Power Division to submit their respective proposals to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC). They already submitted a proposal to the BERC to increase the retail power tariff by about 20 percent. Read: Cabinet approves amendment to let govt decide energy price without BERC But the BERC needs to follow a public hearing to take any decision on the issue and the whole process needs about 90 days while the government is in urgent need to increase the retail power tariff. In such a situation, the Cabinet on November28 approved an amendment to BERC Ordinance 2022 to empower the government to set fuel tariff on its own under special circumstances without waiting for the commission’s public hearing and decision. Now the BERC is in a dilemma whether it will move to hold a public hearing to adjust retail power tariff or the government on its own takes decision on retail power tariff enhancement. Officials said the PMO office wants to learn about the entire situation so that it can give an instruction to the Power Division to take the future decision. Read More: Mitsubishi Power to continue support Bangladesh power industry amid growing energy need The officials also said that a directive is also expected from the PMO meeting to tackle the situation in the next summer, which normally starts from February 15 with an extra load in power supply. Normally an extra load of about 3000 MW in power supply is assumed to be coming from the agriculture irrigation sector in the coming summer, which may continue until May next year. The fasting month of Ramada, which will begin from the first week of April next year will also put another load of 3000 MW. But due to the primary fuel crisis, the government is under pressure to increase the power generation and a big deficit is apprehended in the coming year, officials said. Read More: Europe can’t put its energy needs first while requesting India to act otherwise: Jaishankar All these issues are expected to be discussed in the PMO meeting where the State Minister and the PM’s energy advisor are likely to be present, they said. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a meeting recently said that the government supplies electricity to everyone at subsidised prices though the production cost is much higher. But it will not be possible to provide electricity at lower prices considering the global recession, she said. "The actual cost will have to be paid," she said, adding that the price of gas has increased in the international market. Read More: Bulk power tariff hike won’t affect retail consumers right now: Nasrul Hamid "Everyone, including businessmen in the country, will have to exercise austerity and will have to be ready to pay the money spent on the (increased) price of gas and transport cost. Otherwise, we will not be able to provide electricity. If you want (electricity), you will have to pay the real prices," she added. The PM said costs of electricity, gas, water, and fuel can be reduced by exercising austerity. Currently, the installed power generation capacity of Bangladesh is over 25,000 MW while the generation was limited to 12,000 MW because of the primary fuel crisis.
The summary and statistics of this year’s Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations were handed over to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina this morning. Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni handed over the result summary to the premier at the PMO. Read more: SSC results to be published today, here’s how to see your results This year, more than 20 lakh students took part in SSC and equivalent examinations under 11 boards, including madrasa (Dakhil) and Technical Education. Of them, 15.99 lakh were from nine general education boards, 2.68 under the Madrasa Education Board, and 1.53 lakh under Technical Education Board. SSC and equivalent examinations began across the country on September 15. Read more: No SSC question paper leaked, Dinajpur incident regrettable: Dipu Moni