Why gas only, their crisis is multiplying everywhere23 September 2021 Editorial Desk
Bangladesh is now passing through an acute crisis of natural gas. A news report published in a leading vernacular daily on Wednesday said the daily supply of gas is around 2960 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) against the daily demand of about 4300 mmcfd leaving a shortfall of 1310 mmcfd.
The supply shortfall is being managed by reducing distribution of gas to different sectors from industry to households which are suffering as a result. While power generation in the gas-based plants is being affected, production in fertilizers factories and garment industries with gas-based captive power plants has fallen.
As against the high demand which is increasing 10 percent a year, the domestic production of gas accounts for about 2500 mmcfd of gas. The remainder is to be met from imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). However, the import shortfall due to a sharp rise of LNG price in the international market is blamed for the huge supply gap of 1310 mmcfd of gas.
Those concerned with the sector have said local production of gas would fall in coming days unless new gas fields are spotted and developed. But despite there being potentials of gas discovery in both the mainland and the sea, exploration activities have virtually stopped. LNG import remains the only option to meet the supply shortfall, but at least two more LNG terminals are needed to be constructed to pump 1000 mmcfd of gas into the national grid.
The crippling gas crisis has emerged as a major threat to investment and development in the country clearly due to lack of foresight and advance planning. Economists have said energy and power supply should be sustained whatever the costs.
Another report has said that the issuance of e-passports to minors by the Department of Immigration and Passports has remained halted as the DIP server has no connectivity with the birth registration certificate server. Issuance of passports for adults did also remain suspended recently as the DIP server capacity exhausted and was not enhanced in time.
In the Banking sector hundreds of officers and employees are languishing as they were either dismissed or compelled to resign during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic because the banks concerned thought this way they could reduce costs and increase profitability. While the pandemic-induced economic slowdown doubled the rank of the poor to about 42 per cent, some half a dozen banks pauperised a section of their own officers and employees by depriving them of their jobs.
A recent revelation is that many rich people are beneficiaries of the over Taka one billion safety-net programme of the government whereas thousands of poor people have remained out of the net. Absence of a reliable database on the poor and manipulations at the stage of selection of beneficiaries are blamed for this huge injustice.
In almost all sectors there are crises and examples of lack of diligence and accountability.
The people are helpless victims of unbearable high price, shortage of supply and corruption every step of the way. The administration has been for political support. The ministers are eulogising and chosen not for their competence. As they are not elected properly by the people, they have no obligation of care to the people. Over all financial crisis is hurting the backbone of the people. But who cares?