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Govt wants to divert funds to bolster sick power sector
The government wants to divert a part of the revenue earned from the gas sales to the power sector to tackle its deficits caused by purchase of electricity from fuel-oil run quick rental suppliers, officials said.
The Power Division wants to create the fund to meet deficits that continue to trouble the power utilities even after they raised electricity price at least five times in quick succession.
It wants to generate the fund by increasing gas price, levying surcharge on mobile calls and with ‘special’ allocation from the national budget, they said.
A Power Division official said that prime minister Sheikh Hasina, who holds the portfolio of power, energy and mineral resources, already approved the idea.
He said that on June 12, the prime minister would sit with the Power Division officials in this regard.
The meeting was earlier scheduled for Thursday.
In its proposal, the Power Division argued for raising the gas price saying that the increased revenue could be used to support fuel supply to the power plants.
An Energy Division official, however, said that implementation of energy sector projects would suffer due to fund shortage as the proposed budget for the next fiscal allocated Tk 1,614 crore to the energy sector against the requirement of Tk 3,150 crore.
He said that state run Petrobangla would need additional funds for implementing its 12 priority projects.
On May 20, Petrobangla sought permission to increase gas prices.
According to the proposal, it would help Petrobangla earn additional revenue of Tk 800 crore a year.
Petrobangla wants to raise gas price to Tk 240 per thousand cubic feet from Tk 118.26 for non-grid power plants.
According to the proposal, gas distribution utilities wants to raise price of gas to Tk 350 from Tk 200 per thousand cubic feet from commercial consumers, to Tk 220 from industries, to Tk 200 from tea estates, Tk 84 from power plants feeding the national grid and Tk 80 from fertiliser factories.
CNG filling stations would have to pay Tk 32 a cubic metre.
The energy commission is expected to give its decision on the Petrobangla proposal after holding a public hearing, yet to be scheduled.
A Power Division official said that the Power Development Board would have to increase power generation from fuel-oil run plants in the coming fiscal which would require huge subsidy.
He said that the subsidy in the proposed budget, Tk 6,400 crore, for fiscal year 2012-13 was not sufficient for buying power from the fuel-oil run quick rental suppliers in the private sector.
[ Main News ] 2012-06-10