POST TIME: 6 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
2000 industrial units to get gas connections

2000 industrial units to get gas connections

In the wake of the discovery of two trillion cubic feet of gas in Bhola, a southern district of Bangladesh, the government has formally decided to give gas connections to two thousand industrial units. This is indeed a great leap forward which will bolster local industry, create secure jobs and increase the productivity of the nation in general.

Over 48 percent of total gas produced is now being used for generating electricity. Besides, 15 percent of gas is being used in CNG and fertilizer factories. The gas that was supposed to be used in industries, are being used in other sectors. The demand for gas has also risen sharply because a large number of garment factories, mostly located in shared buildings are not able to relocate their units to newer destinations due to lack of gas connections.

Reportedly, around two thousand five hundred industrial units had applied for gas connection in the last three to five years and, after assessment, a large number will get the privilege. In finalising the list of 2000, their potential contribution to our economy was given preference. However, there is a caveat which involves a security clearance of the industrial units by national security agencies.

We would also like to request the authority that in probing the industrial units which applied for connections, selfish political witch hunt should be abandoned. Once a non-partisan evaluation is done, the overall winner will be the country and her general people. If Bangladesh wants to expedite her rise to middle income status, then industrial units should be provided all sorts of incentives plus connections to power, gas and water.

The current decision is akin to a windfall for our industrial units because after a five year interlude, the government in 2017 gave gas lines to only 250 industrial units, facing heightened pressure from the business community. At the heart of this sudden positive turn of events is the discovery of gas within our own territory; therefore, more attempts should be made to search for natural resources. A large delta like Bangladesh should form a very rich gas province. In reality, the expected gas richness has not been visible because of lack of exploration. More exploration drives needs to be carried out in order to unearth its true gas potential. The sooner it is done, the better. LNG manufacturing plants can be set up here by attracting foreign investors. One other option can be to include the local banks which reportedly have cash to hand out to provide soft condition financial loans to business houses interested in producing gas locally. Once easy facilities are available, several Bangladeshi companies will be encouraged to explore gas and market it in the remote areas via cylinders or through specially established plants.