The government is set to import 500 megawatt more electricity on a short- and long-term basis from India to meet the growing demand for power in the country. The proposal to import electricity from two Indian companies for Tk 4.7148 to Tk 6.5474 kW/h has already been approved by the cabinet committee on purchase yesterday.
The short-term would be from June 2018 to December 31, 2019. Bangladesh will purchase 300MW of electricity from NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) for Tk 4.7148 kW/h ($0.0566) and 200MW from PTC India for Tk 4.8647 kW/h ($0.0584).
The same companies will also provide power over the long-term: from January 1, 2020 to May 31, 2033.
Indian company NVVN will supply 300MW at a cost of Tk 6.4891 kW/h ($0.0779) and PTC India Ltd will supply 200MW power at a cost of Tk 6.5474 kW/h ($0.0786). Bangladesh has been importing 500MW of electricity from the neighbouring country through the inter-connection grid line from 2013. The tenure for the arrangement will end in June.
Another 100MW of electricity is being imported from Tripura from March 2016. mBangladesh has plans to import more power from India, said a power division official. Also at yesterday’s meeting, the cabinet committee on purchase approved a proposal to appoint Indian Texmaco Rail and Engineering for constructing dual gauge rail line from Akhaura to Agartala for Bangladesh Railway for Tk 241 crore. The project, the total cost for which would be Tk 478 crore, has been taken up with a view to expanding trade between Bangladesh and India through the railway.
For the implementation of the project, India will give a grant of Tk 420 crore, said an official of the railways ministry.
The cabinet committee on economic affairs held a meeting before the meeting of the purchase committee. The economic affairs committee approved the draft policy for the National API (active pharmaceutical ingredients) and Laboratory Reagents Manufacturing and Exports. The government plans to offer a host of incentives to encourage local manufacturing of raw materials for the pharmaceutical sector in a bid to boost exports and lower the cost for domestic consumers.
Bangladesh largely relies on imports for raw materials in the absence of local API: about 95 percent of the Tk 5,000 crore worth of raw materials needed by the pharmaceutical sector are brought in from abroad. Besides, the raw materials, which are mostly imported from China, South Korea and India, are not always of the requisite quality. As per the proposal, the government will give unconditional tax-holiday to all API and laboratory reagents producers, both local and joint ventures, for five years from fiscal 2016-17 to fiscal 2021-22. The committee also approved the import of liquefied natural gas from Oman on a government-to-government basis. Besides, the Bangladesh Textile Mills Corporation under the textiles and jute ministry has proposed to hand over 1.18 acres of land to the directorate of police at the negotiated price.