The Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) on Wednesday expressed concern over the recent initiative to hike the prices of gas.
They said that if the industrial production in Bangladesh rebounds and does well in exporting products, the gas price hike will reduce competitiveness in the global arena.
The apex trade body expressed the concern at the first meeting of FBCCI's standing committee on power energy and utilities held at the FBCCI office, reports UNB.
Meanwhile, gas extraction, transmission and distribution companies have started submitting proposals to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) to increase prices.
In the meeting, FBCCI senior vice-president Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu said China and India would continue to operate coal-fired power plants for another 20 years to sustain economic growth.
So, Bangladesh should also take initiative to ensure the best use of coal reserves in the country, he said.
Babu emphasized on expanding domestic gas exploration activities on a large scale adding that BAPEX could not do it alone, it should speed up the digging of exploration wells in a joint venture with the private sector.
Abul Kasem Khan, director-in-charge of the standing committee said the country's growing dependence on imports in the energy sector was not safe for the future. It is important to harness domestic resources to ensure long-term energy security and sustain industrialization.
He favoured power generation by extracting coal from domestic sources.
FBCCI Director Md. Naser complained that the businessmen are being deprived of the benefits of power generation due to extreme mismanagement in the distribution system.
The members of the committee demanded a one-stop solution to increase solar power generation, installation of solar panels in uncultivated lands of chars, government initiatives for research and development activities, and undertaking power generation projects from waste and rice husks.
The meeting was chaired by Humayun Rashid, Chairman of the Standing Committee and MD and CEO of Energypac Power Generation Limited.
He said the security of the country's energy sector would be disrupted if coordination between domestic and foreign sources in the power and energy sector was not ensured.
FBCCI's standing committee on power energy and utilities co-chairman Md. Salauddin Yousuf, Mohammad Ali Deen, Nazmul Haque and FBCCI Secretary-General Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque were also present at the meeting.