12:00 AM, December 16, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 16, 2007

Govt moves for gas exploration in the north

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Unb, Dhaka

Finance Advisor Mirza Azizul Islam said the government has initiated move to explore natural gas in the country's north, mostly an agrarian region that also holds a cache of coal and other minerals.
He said that this move is part of the caretaker government's effort to remove regional disparity.
“Other potentials lying in the northern region will be identified,” he said while addressing as chief guest a seminar on 'Greater Rangpur and Development of Northern Region: Energy Perspective' at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the city.
Business chambers of Rangpur, Gaibandha, Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram and Greater Rangpur Welfare Association jointly organised the daylong brainstorming over the woes and unexplored potential of the northerners.
Power and Energy Adviser Tapan Chowdhury also spoke at the function, presided over by President of Greater Rangpur Welfare Association and former BoI executive chairman Nazrul Islam.
The finance adviser said the present government is very cautious about the regional disparities. He said the recent survey of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) has also proved the existing discrepancy in development.
He mentioned that from now on in every project profile it has to be highlighted how that project would influence regional disparity in development.
Mentioning coal as main natural resource of the northern region, the adviser said a coal policy is being prepared to get a success in coal extraction.
“But if there is a consensus on coal extraction from difference of opinion, it will help expedite the government initiative,” he told the meet.
He said power shortage has been a main obstacle to development. “Power generation depends on gas and petroleum, that's why the government is taking move to explore gas and coal.”
Tapan Chowdhury said the government is not preparing the coal policy keeping in mind any particular company's investment.
“It will be a general policy on which basis the country's coal sector will be developed,” he said.
He noted that the state owned-BAPEX has appealed for funds to conduct gas-exploration works in the northern region.

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