Dhaka, Apr 24 (UNB) – Voicing his annoyance against the Power Ministry, Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Thursday said it cannot be acceptable that the demand for 6600 MW of power cannot be met with the increased production capacity of 11,000 MW .
He also raised objection to the ongoing process of closing down some of the garment units by the international buyers.
“I seriously object to the idea of closing down some units just because they are not in proper shape,” Muhith said while addressing the annual general meeting of International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) at a city hotel.
The function of IBFB, a body of 350 businessmen from different sectors, was also addressed by State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan, US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan W Mozena and FBCCI President Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed. IBFB president Hafizur Rahman Khan gave the welcome address.
Expressing his disappointment with the Power and Energy Ministry’s present performance, the Finance Minister said that he feels bad when he hears about the difficulties in the power supply.
“When we took the office, there was serious power crisis. The government took strong measures and the power production capacity has reached from 3500 MW to 11,000 MW.
“With this, a demand of 6600 MW can easily be met. I believe, the people in Power Division and Energy Division should take a serious note. This cannot happen,” he added.
Referring to the US Ambassador’s statement in the function, Muhith said the government has taken up huge plans to overcome the Rana Plaza tragedy. “We’ve adopted various plans to overcome the crisis. It seems that the pursued plans have not been that strong.”
He said that closing down the garment units is not a good practice. The practice should be to upgrade their status, to give them time. “Authorities must be soft as how to build the partnership.”
Focusing on the government policies to promote the private sector, the Finance Minister said the government would continue the philosophy of private sector-led growth.
He said Bangladesh have 8 million workers across the whole world, who are effectively participating in the development. “They must be included in the value of the country’s asset.”
Muhith appreciated the private sector’s role in increasing the revenue of the government.
Supporting the FBCCI president’s speech, he said that working together with the private sector is the secret of success.
Founder and former president of the IBFB Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury said his organization wants to conduct a survey jointly with the National Board of Revenue to increase the government’s revenue collection from retail shops through widening of the net of value added tax (VAT).