Time-bound plan by month-end
The government by the end of this month will announce a time-bound detailed action plan for increasing power and gas production in the country.
"The statement will mention how many megawatt of power will be generated, when the tender will be invited, by when the agreements will be signed, and when the plants will go into production," Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday at a pre-budget views exchange meeting with Economic Reporter' Forum (ERF) in his office.
He also said the size of the next fiscal year's budget will be between Tk 1,30,000 crore to Tk 1,32,000 crore, with an Annual Development Programme (ADP) of Tk 38,000 crore.
In the next budget the GDP growth target will be 6.7 percent, while a target will be set to keep inflation within 6.5 percent, Muhith added.
When ERF members focused on the ongoing severe power and energy crises, the finance minister said an action plan for increasing power and gas production is almost ready, which might be announced by the end of this month.
The minister told the journalists, "You will then know what the government has done in that regard. However, in the case of gas, it will not be possible to say specifically how much will be available. We will announce five development plans."
He said boosting power and energy production, and containment of commodity prices will get the highest priority in the next budget.
The government already took a good number of initiatives for successful implementation of budgets, Muhith said. The planning minister has been reviewing the progress of budget implementation every month. The Economic Relations Division (ERD) secretary has been monitoring the projects funded by foreign aid. As a result a good progress has already been achieved in budget implementation, while more progress are expected, the minister added.
He said solar panels will be installed in Bangladesh Secretariat for power generation next year, so others are also encouraged to use solar power. The Prime Minister's Office, and Bangladesh Bank already installed solar panels, he pointed out.
Muhith said solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems will be installed at all government high-rises in the future, a project for which was approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council.
ERF President Monwar Hossain, Vice-president Shahnewaz, General Secretary Abu Kawsar, and other members of the forum participated in meeting where Finance Secretary Dr Mohammad Tareq, ERD Secretary Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, and Banking Division Secretary Shafiqur Rahman Patwari were also present.