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Stop new gas connections to homes: PM

gasPrime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday instructed Power and Energy Ministry officials to stop providing new gas connections to residential consumers, in favour of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) for them at affordable price in the next three years, reports UNB. She also asked the officials to pay special emphasis to development of solar power to spread electricity to off-grid remote areas.
The PM gave these instructions during a meeting with the top officials of the Power and Energy Ministry at its conference room.
State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid informed reporters about the PM’s directives following the meeting.
“LPG has to be within the reach of every residential consumer in next three years at a reasonable price,” he said referring to PM’s speech. “So, there will be no more gas connections to new residential consumers.”
The Prime Minister also expressed mixed feelings about the performance of different divisions of the ministry. “She is happy with our performance,” Hamid told reporters,referring to the Power Division, before admitting that PM expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the Energy Division.
The Prime Minister was visiting the Power and Energy Ministry for the first time since February 6 last year.
According to the State Minister, the PM has given instructions on various issues ranging from power import to gas exploration.
Apart from prioritising industries (over private consumers) in providing new gas connections, specially the special economic zones now being built in 21 places, she also asked for taking initiatives for exploration of both onshore and offshore areas.
In this regard, the onshore areas where state-owned Bapex will work in future will be left out from the exploration by the international oil companies (IOCs).
She also instructed to review and rationalize the model production sharing contract to make it attractive to the foreign investors.
Nasrul Hamid said the PM has also instructed a dedicated petroleum fuel supply line be built from Chittagong to Godhnail in Dhaka, continuing from Godhnail to Shahjalal International Airport for ensuring uninterrupted fuel supply to the transport and aviation sector.
“If such a dedicated pipeline is built to carry petroleum fuel, it will help save Tk 200 crore a year and also stop misuse of the fuel,” the PM also said.
She also instructed to adjust the price of jet fuel in line with the price on international market.
She appreciated the Rural Electrification Board (REB) for its performance in providing new electricity connections to rural people.
The PM has instructed to build an LNG station at Maheshkhali in Chittagong and Paira Port in country’s southern area to facilitate import of liquefied national gas.