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Tuesday, March 3, 2015, Falgun 19, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 11, 1436 Hijr

Coal-Fired Power
Cabinet okays new fund for environment
Published : Tuesday, 3 March, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 16
Special Correspondent
A special fund will be mobilised in line with international rules to protect the livelihood and environment in case of implementation of any power project based on coal, considered a dirty fuel.
The Cabinet in its regular weekly meeting on Monday gave a go-ahead to the proposal of forging such a fund from the Ministry of Power.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting at the secretariat.
Local and foreign environmentalists have long been demanding that Bangladesh government move to develop such 'social development fund.'
As per the proposal, coal-fired power plant authority would deposit around Tk 0.03 to this fund, which would be earned through selling per unit electricity to  consumers. However, it is a regular practice across the globe.
The government is planning to turn to coal as indigenous fuel for power generation by setting up of  seven coal-based plants, with a total output of 4,000 MW by 2016, according to an official at Power Development Board. The government also plans   generation of 24,000 MW of electricity by 2021.
Cabinet Secretary Mosharrof Hossain Bhuiyan told reporters in a briefing after the Cabinet meeting: "Almost 50 per cent of the planned generation of 40,000 MW of electricity by 2030 would come from coal-based plants."
The cabinet also approved the Energy Ministry's proposal to enact "Petroleum Corporation Act 2015."
Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), a statutory organization of the government under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, has been assigned to supervise, co-ordinate and control all the activities relating to import, store, marketing and distribution of petroleum products in the country. BPC's responsibilities also include developing infrastructure facilities for petroleum marketing.
"It is very old law and we need to amend it as the areas of marketing and doing business of BPC is widening day by day so the energy ministry has submitted the proposal in this regard," the Cabinet Secretary said.
Both the bills will be placed before the parliament for final approval.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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