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Power crisis is hitting the country hard

01 November 2022

The ongoing energy crisis is hurting the country's crucial food and industrial production. The planned rationing of electricity supply due to the fuel oil crisis as a result of depleting foreign reserves has caused people to suffer immensely for the last few months. In many places of the country, people have led their lives without electricity for as many as eight hours a day. But two reports from this newspaper yesterday painted a very grim economic outlook because of the ongoing power crisis.
Firstly, as the consumer goods producing companies are not getting electricity, the volume of their production is greatly compromised as a result of which there can be a severe shortage of supply of their products in the market. This may, in turn, shoot prices of these commodities. The price of wheat flour/atta has already gone too high in the market. But as the flour production has reportedly come down to half of their capacity for many mill owners, it will very normally affect the price of many consumer products even further.
Due to failure of market monitoring, even in normal times consumers in Bangladesh usually pay more than what should be the actual price of a commodity compared to its price in South Asian countries. According to reports, wholesale traders are not getting enough goods even after depositing money in advance as the production of various products including sugar, flour and atta has reduced by almost half.
The same crunch is noticed in the country's RMG production and it is feared that RMG export growth may be reduced 20 per cent in the month of October just passed. This is primarily due to the energy crisis as well as decline of work orders and high inflation in European countries.
Work order from the west will not increase unless the Ukraine-Russia war sees a decisive conclusion-there is little chance that it will be soon-but against the BGMEA's demands, would this inept and corrupt government be able to provide them with an uninterrupted supply of power? The businesses of the country said a few days ago that they are even ready to pay a higher price than what they are paying now for per unit of electricity.
With shrinking food production and rising commodity prices as well as fall in RMG export triggering even faster depletion of reserves, the country is inexorably moving towards a great crisis ahead. Economic prosperity is far away now, the most critical question now is: how will the majority of people who are poor survive in the hard days that are coming?        

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