Bangladesh’s Austerity Measures


Samina Akhter

Electricity allows us to live in great comfort, but we also need to be conscious of the fact that it is a finite resource. Additionally, the global energy crisis has practically become a worry for all of us, and it is expected of each of us to use energy wisely every day. It’s not all that difficult. You may easily conserve energy by exercising a little caution. Even your electricity expense can be lowered by utilizing energy intelligently. The efficient use of energy and the efficient conservation of energy are two important worldwide challenges. Bangladesh truly needs our help (everyone’s help) with “energy conservation.” The administration has implemented a number of austerity measures in response to the sky-high gasoline costs on the global market, including a 20 per cent reduction in fuel imports and the imposition of area-based rotating load-shedding. Since the country’s foreign exchange reserves are being depleted by the high energy price in the world, which has driven up the cost of importing all other necessities, the government appears to have no choice but to enact austerity measures. To reduce the amount of fuel required for energy production, the government has implemented area-based load shedding for a set period. To conserve fuel starting on Tuesday, it has temporarily restricted the amount of electricity produced each day. Power is scarce in many nations all around the world. Diesel, fuel oil, and LNG costs have all significantly increased. Due to the abnormal price increases, the government will no longer purchase gas from the foreign market. To lessen the power problem, the administration has implemented several measures, such as load-shedding by region and shutting down diesel-powered power facilities. We should all uphold utilizing restraint electricity. Additionally, filling stations will be closed nationwide for one day per week. To save electricity, the government is also preparing to cut back on weekly working hours and implement virtual offices for its employees and officials. This battle has once again thrown the globe into a serious crisis as we were all getting over the effects of the Coronavirus. The majority of wealthy nations, including the US, the UK, and Australia, are also experiencing severe power shortages, primarily as a result of the exorbitant fuel prices on the global market. This dilemma affects many established and wealthy nations in addition to developing ones like ourselves. Our neighbours, Myanmar, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have also the same crisis. Some individuals are attempting to turn this situation into a political issue by disseminating untruths about the administration to destabilize the nation. However, they should keep in mind that, in the past, the nation previously had power outages of 8 to 10 hours. We must all recognize that we are all at risk as a result of the current global catastrophe. People should continue to use electricity sparingly since doing so will help them deal with future crises of any kind. The government might save a significant amount of gasoline if diesel-run power plants were kept closed. Only about 10 per cent of diesel is used in the electricity sector, and the rest is used in transportation. The government has been forced to implement load shedding and restrict electricity generation in light of the global fuel crisis brought on by the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war and the Covid-19 outbreak. The recent Russia-Ukraine war and the long-lasting effects of the COVID-19 outbreak have made the gasoline market very unstable worldwide. On the economic dashboard, there are currently a few red lights blinking, including those for the current account deficit, decreasing foreign currency reserves, volatile exchange rates, soaring inflation, etc. Bangladesh has been forced into this precarious scenario, along with the rest of the globe, as a result of Russia’s conflict in Ukraine. Worse still, there is no sign of a resolution to the five-month conflict, and mounting concerns about a wider conflict between Russia and the West have placed the world on a razor’s edge. In light of this, load shedding has reappeared despite the government’s impressive progress in terms of power-producing capacity. We applaud the move to replace sporadic power outages with systematic area-based fixed hours of outages. We believe that individuals should be informed about the specific hours of power outages in their respective places as many still remain unaware of the designated load-shedding hours in their communities. However, in rural regions, people are complaining about load shedding for longer than ten hours a day, which is simply too much for them to bear. We believe that daily power outages shouldn’t last longer than two to three hours. The energy austerity measures are reasonable and doable, but they must be carried out without impeding industrial and agricultural productivity. After 8 o’clock, the government has already requested that malls and roadside shops close, with the exception of pharmacies. But because most stores stay open until midnight, it must be severely enforced. Additionally, unnecessary lightning is sometimes seen, which needs to be controlled. In this period of national crisis, it is the responsibility of the people to practice austerity in their use of gas and electricity, and we urge our readers to play their role.

(Courtesy Daily Times, Pakistan)