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He said a vested interest group is very active blocking any move whenever any initiative is taken for gas exploration in the country.

The seminar was addressed, among others, by eminent energy expert and former special assistant of chief of caretaker government M Tamim, Dhaka University professor Badrul Iman, economist Rashed Al Mamun Titumir, former president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry Abul Kasem Khan and former managing director of BAPEX, Mortuza Ahmed Faruque.

Badrul Imam said there is tendency in Petrobangla, the state-owned hydrocarbon corporation, not to share its data with others and keep that in its office lockers

Energy and Power editor Mollah Amzad Hossain conducted the seminar.

Echoing the observations of Muktadir Ali, Tamim said if the current trend on import of LNG (liquified natural gas) continues, the country will have to spend annually $20 billion by 2030.

Criticising the policymakers for not utilising state-owned exploration company BAPEX for gas exploration, he said the company was always kept “handicapped” in taking its own decision independently.

“It has to seek approval from the Cabinet Purchase Committee even for a small decision, which is a time-consuming process,” he said, adding that only a policy change can strengthen BAPEX management enabling it to take its own business decision.

He also said BAPEX would not be able to keep its efficient manpower until its salary-structure is not upgraded in view of the international oil-gas exploration company.

“But unfortunately that is not happening”, he said adding the government is increasing gas import.

Badrul Imam said there is tendency in Petrobangla, the state-owned hydrocarbon corporation, not to share its data with others and keep that in its office lockers.

Rashed Al Mamun Titumir said the country needs to create energy economists and take decisions on the energy sector on the basis of their analyses.

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