Govt cheats people with rental power: experts
They also alleged that the government had let vested interests bag public money by allowing the establishment of rental power plants and buying electricity from them in a non-transparent manner
Saturday October 06 2012 11:45:00 AM BDT
Experts and eminent citizens on Friday said that the government had cheated people in increasing electric supply by buying expensive rental power from the private sector instead of low-cost, old plants.(The New Age BD )
They made the observation at a roundtable on frequent power price increases and rental and quick rental power. The weekly Saptahik organised the programme.
They also alleged that the government had let vested interests bag public money by allowing the establishment of rental power plants and buying electricity from them in a non-transparent manner.
Corruption in the power sector coupled with policy suggestions of the International Monetary Fund created the ground for the government to increase power and fuel prices frequently, making lives of middle- and low-income groups miserable, they said.
Akbar Ali Khan, former adviser to the immediate-past caretaker government, said that the government would lose its acceptability to people if it increased prices of power, fuel and water frequently.
He said that the government had failed to check theft in the power sector. ‘So government investments in the sector should not be called subsidy.’
Akbar said that the government had not taken any significant initiatives to increase power generation from old plants in the public sector.
He said that rental or quick rental plants had never been a solution to the crisis in the power sector.
None of the ‘so-called pro-people government’ and the military-backed government anything effective to reduce power shortage, Akbar said.
He also urged the government to address the problem in the interest of the people and not to follow the suggestions of the International Monetary Fund.
The Power Cell’s former director general BD Rahmatullah claimed that rental power producers were given in fabricated generation cost Tk 6,000 crore a year more than what they should get.
Initially, the government allowed ‘unfit’ entrepreneurs without any tender process to install old and inefficient plants and sell electricity to the Power Development Board, he said.
‘As a result, the plants are consuming up to 150 per cent more fuel to produce the same amount of power compared with new or efficient plants,’ he said.
The Communist Party of Bangladesh general secretary Mujahidul Islam Salim said, ‘Like Destiny and Hallmark scams or the scam in the share market, rental power is a scam in the power sector.’
He said that the government could be called a ‘government of scams.’
Columnist Syed Abul Maksud, academics Abu Ahmad and Piash Karim, and rights activist Kallol Mostafa also spoke. The Saptahik executive editor, Shuvo Kibria, read out the keynote paper.
The New Age BD