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Allocation for power-energy sector declines by 3505 cr
The allocation for power and energy sector has come down by 3505 crore as it received Tk 15,036 crore in the next fiscal year of 2016-17.
In the outgoing fiscal year, the actual allocation for the sector was 18,541. But, it was revised to Tk 16,614 crore.
Of the proposed allocation in the coming fiscal, the power division received Tk 13,062 while the energy division Tk 1973 crore.
In his budget speech, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the government has targeted raising electricity generation by additional 16,086 MW within 2021.
To achieve this target, he said, installation of 29 power plants with a capacity of 7,296 MW capacities is in progress while tendering processes of 20 power plants with a capacity of 6,681 MW are underway.
Besides, there is a plan to construct 8 power plants with a capacity of 4,435 MW. There is a plan to install more power plants in Moheshkhali with private investment, he mentioned.
About the allocation in the energy sector, he said: “We’ve taken steps to augment gas reserve by expediting exploration programme.”
He mentioned that the state-owned BAPEX plans to dig 53 exploration wells, 35 development wells and 20 work-over wells by 2021. It is expected that 943 to 1,105 million cubic feet gas per day can be produced from these wells, he added.
About the reduced allocation, energy expert and Buet professor Dr. M Tamim said this has been “absolutely inadequate” for power and energy sector.
Possibly, he said, the government’s attention to other infrastructure sectors, especially the communications, has been a major reason for such reduction.
Tamim said the transmission and distribution need huge investment after the last few years’ progress in the generation segment.
He said the power sector alone needs $40 billion investment to implement the planned projects up to 2021. But only private sector cannot be able to meet this investment needs. “That’s why public sector investment needs to be continued. Otherwise, development projects in the sector will be hampered.”
He believes that the non-availability of funds compelled the government to downsise the allocation. He, however, said the separate allocation for Rooppur nuclear power project is included; the allocation may be increased for power sector.