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Govt asks banks to fund power projects
Kazi Zahidul Hasan
The government has formed ahigh-powered body to ensure quick implementation of ongoing and planned powerprojects and make them functional smoothly, officials said on Monday.
The nine-member advisorycommittee headed by Finance Minister AMA Muhith was formed at a high levelmeeting held recently at the Prime Minister Office (PMO).
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasinachaired the meeting, which discussed the state of the country's power andenergy sector and implementation status of ongoing power projects.
"The body will overseeimplementation of the ongoing power projects and advise on fund arrangement andtimely fund disbursement for such projects," a senior Power Divisionofficial told The New Nation yesterday.
Acquisition of land and securingenvironmental clearances always known hinder the pace of power projectimplementation and the new committee will also look after the matter, he added.
Other members of the committeeare: Finance and Energy advisers of the Prime Minister, Executive Chairman ofBoard of Investment (BoI), State Minister for Energy and Mineral Resource,governor of central bank and secretaries from finance, energy and powerdivisions.
They will give necessarydirectives and provide support to full time operation of the existing powerplants to secure maximum electricity production from them.
The body will also givesuggestions for setting up new power plants and put them to operation. Besides,it will also work to frame a policy for creating separate power and energysector's support fund.
Meanwhile, the meeting hasdirected the National Board of Revenue (NBR) for taking necessary steps torestore the SRO (No-144) immediately, which was issued in 1999 offeringtax-holyday facility for the independent power producers
It also gave directives to thecentral bank to take prompt decision to allow opening of Letter of Credits(LCs) and arranging bank loans and for the power projects sitting with approvalfrom the government.
"The central bank governorhas been asked to form a committee led by a deputy governor to monitor thematter," he added.
Directive has also been given tothe Director General of the Department of Environment (DoE) for issuingenvironment clearance certificate immediately to 1320MW coal-based power plantin Bagherhat district setting up by the Bangladesh-India Friendship PowerCompany.
The meeting has asked theauthorities concerned to ensure swift fund release from Bangladesh InvestmentFinance Fund (BIFF) for smooth implementation of the power sector's developmentprojects.
The official said the governmenthas given the highest priority to power sector development and is committed tomake electricity available to all by 2021.
To scale up electricitygeneration, the government has a plan to connect new power plants with capacityof 15000mw from public and private sector up to 2016 using different mode ofenergy.
"Activities are in progressfor setting up 24 new power plants with a generation capacity of 3197MWelectricity in both the private and public sector," he noted.
[ Front Page ] 2012-07-03