REGULATION | Cesar Tordesillas, India

Bangladesh sets Tk 16,511 crore for power sector

The government of Bangladesh has estimated an expenditure of Tk 16,511 crore in power and energy sector in the next fiscal year which was Tk 15,237 crore in the outgoing fiscal.

The total expenditure for power and energy sector includes an allocation of Tk 8,311 crore – development
and non-development budget combined – in the sector for the next financial year. The government has given priority to setting up a few peak-in power plants, transmission lines, infrastructure for power exchange with India and establishment of coal-fired power plants under joint venture with India.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith in his budget speech in parliament said that the allocation was 5.1 per cent of the total volume of the budget and also 15 per cent higher than the revised budget for the outgoing fiscal year.

Subsidy in the power sector has been estimated at Tk 5,200 crore increasing the budget by 523 per cent from the FY 2009-10. The amount will be spent mainly to buy expensive power from rental plants in the private sector.

The government has also proposed to increase power price on the basis of the estimated cost of power supply and to bring down the subsidy in the power sector.

In the power sector, the government has proposed to allocate Tk 7,152.63 crore as the development budget for FY 2011-12 which is 340 per cent higher than that of FY 2009-10.

The government has proposed to allocate Tk 1,114 crore as development budget for energy sector for the next fiscal which is 18.5 per cent less than that of the first revised budget of the Awami League-led government.
In his budget speech, the finance minister claimed that the government had been able to supply additional 1,556 MW of power to the national grid and expressed his hope that an additional 1,769 MW would be supplied by December, 2011 and 2,157 MW by December, 2012.

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