According to data from the Power Division, reliable international organisations and mass media, a remarkable chunk of power production capacity is inactive in the country. But the government has to pay the rent and subsidy for the power plants which is going beyond the capacity of the people.
Based on the circumstances, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has called for terminating the rental power system and revising the Power System Master Plan 2016, reads a press statement.
According to Power Division data, since a large portion of active power production capacity is sitting idle, it will incur a loss worth Tk15,000 crore from April to June in 2020.
Around 57 percent of the power plants are sitting idle because the government established them despite there being no demand, says a report from the London-based Institute for Energy Economics Financial Analysis.
If the Covid-19 situation continues, the government has to pay around Tk35,400 crore for the April- December period.
Meanwhile, the Power Division has decided to ask for a loan worth Tk15,000 crore from the government, the press release adds.
On the other hand, the Power Cell of the government has recommended paying the fuel subsidy – meant for the farmers to irrigate their crops ─ to the power division, instead of paying it to the ministry of agriculture.
Terming the matter illogical, TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said that prioritising subsidies to unnecessary power plants is irrational compared to providing subsidies to farmers.
"It will deprive the farmers, and the subsidy for the wealthy power plant businessmen has to be paid by the farmers and other ordinary people. So, such anti-people steps should be cancelled," he said.
He also recommended revising the Power System Master Plan – 2016.
At the same time, Iftekharuzzaman also expressed concern over coal plants.
He said, "The country has the capacity of producing 21,000MW of renewable energy. Also, the government pledged to produce 10 percent power from this sector to meet the country's demand. But the measures to implement the target are unnoticeable."
Shortages in the fuel sector have increased. This happened for the lack of right planning, and opening coal and oil-based power plants despite having no demand. Those were done for gaining business interests, he added.