Sunday, February 25, 2024

Govt move for power cuts to industries slated

Manufacturers of products, both for local and export markets, said implementation of the government move for power cuts to industries after 5pm might severely hamper industrial output of the country in the current fiscal year.
They suggested that the government should must not go for implementing such a “suicidal move”, rather it should try efficient management of electricity distribution for arranging extra power for meeting the requirement during the cricket world cup and for other purposes.
Notices about power cuts by the distribution agencies—PDB, Rural Electrification Board and DESCO—created jitters among the manufacturers early this week.
The agencies notified the industries to keep their productions restricted as world cup events, increased demand for irrigation and increased summer consump-
tion by the home consumers would require diversion of electricity that is consumed by the industries.
In one notice, the factory owners have been instructed to close for six hours every evening until the final match on April 2 so that power cuts do not affect cricket fans watching the game on television.
The authorities’ orders instantly enraged the country’s 5,000 garment exporters as March is the pick business time for many exporters.
Apparel export is the backbone of the country’s economy, accounting for 80 percent of all exports. The factories employ more than three million workers, mostly women.
‘If electricity supply is restricted to the factories after 5pm, the export sector industries will just be paralyzed,’ said Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
With enough orders in hand the export units need to employ workers on overtime duties and blackout after 5pm would hamper extra earnings of the workers as well, he pointed out.
‘Even the importers in different countries expressed worries hearing that electricity supply to Bangladeshi industries will be stopped at evening,’ Murshedy added.
The government should go for efficient distribution management of electricity if it wants to continue adequate supply of electricity to priority sectors like export industries and agriculture.
The BGMEA has already petitioned the relevant ministries so that the government decision is changed, Murshedy said.
They met the energy adviser on Monday and had assurance that the move would be reviewed. The BGMEA in a letter to the prime minister also said such power cuts would damage the country’s business image.
hahedul Islam Helal, the immediate past president of Bangladesh Chamber of Industries, said not only the export-oriented ones, local market-oriented industries would also suffer much if electricity supply is stopped during evening hours.
‘For ensuring the industrial output as targeted in the budget of the current fiscal year, the government itself should think how to increase electricity supply to industries… But it is a pity they have taken the move for power cuts,’ said Helal.
Abdur Razzaque, president of Bangladesh Engineering Industries Owners Association said hit hard by load-shedding in day time, many SME units need to continue production at evening. Now blackout in the evenings would hit hard production at small industries.
‘It will be a suicidal move that would go against industrial production,’ he added.

 

Courtesy of New Age

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