‘Electricity tariff hike a challenge for private sector’
The recent retail electricity tariff hike will ultimately create an additional economic burden on the smooth operations of the private sector and power intensive industries, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) President Barrister Md Sameer Sattar said.
The tariff hike came at a time when the private sector was struggling with high inflation and devaluation of local currency along with other economic challenges, he said.
The government was compelled to take such a decision due to volatile international energy prices, he said in a statement released by the DCCI.
However, the DCCI president hopes the government will continue to adjust the tariff rationally in order to minimise the adverse impact on the private sector and local industries.
The government is working on a plan to introduce a system for adjusting power and energy prices every month, Sattar said.
The electricity price hike should be competitive, predictable and gradual so that the private sector can avoid any sudden price shock, he said.
Since price hike is inevitable given the current situation, it is important that a predictable price hike policy is put into place so that the private sector can make necessary planning for their businesses ahead, he said.
Through this, the private businesses will be able to take considered decisions as to how they will strategise their businesses for the days to come, the DCCI chief added.
Along with this, the government should be prepared to bring the power prices down once the challenges are over as it should not be a one-way road, he suggested.
Since, Bangladesh has a high dependency on energy import, Barrister Sattar also urged the government to explore renewable and alternative energy sources and more importantly, prioritise local gas exploration.
To deal with any power shortage, the government should regularly check the efficiency of all power plants and minimise any system loss.
The president of Dhaka Chamber feels that energy and power are key resources to maintain industrial and investment competitiveness in Bangladesh.