The government has decided to reduce electricity consumption by 25 percent in all government offices of the country as austerity measures to cope up with the economic shock and crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
The private organizations have also been urged to comply with the government’s policy as a part of this austerity measures.
The decision was taken at a meeting with the senior secretaries and secretaries of all the ministries and divisions at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) this afternoon organised to find out an effective course of action to reduce the expenditure of government.
Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus chaired the meeting.
PMO Senior Secretary Md. Tofazzel Hossain Miah was also present.
While briefing the reporters, the Principal Secretary said the ministries and divisions would take the initiatives to formulate their own policies to reduce the consumption of electricity and water as “the consumption of electricity in all government offices has to cut down by 25 percent.”
He said that the finance division will also issue necessary gazette notification aiming to cut down the use of budgetary allocation of energy sector by 20 percent.
Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus said “There is no reason to be panicked. This is precautionary measure so that we don’t have to face any kind of crisis in the future.”
Mentioning that this measure is not only for the capital city, he said that all the ministries and divisions will take the measures to follow it at their district and upazila level offices.
Reminding all about to the Prime Minister’s call to increase production and be thrifty, the Principal Secretary called upon the ministries and divisions to save electricity and fuel by avoiding unnecessary expenses.
He also urged the non-government organizations to come forward following the government’s policy.
In the meeting, the secretaries discussed about the ways of implementing the cost-saving policy of the government in the wake of continuous price hike of daily commodities, including fuel due to the post-Covid economic crisis and the Russia-Ukraine war.
National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, Senior Secretary of Water Resources Ministry Kabir Bin Anwar, Senior Secretary of Public Administration Ministry KM Ali Azam and Finance Division Senior Secretary Fatima Yasmin, among others, took part in the discussion.
Other decisions taken at the meeting are – avoidance of physical meeting unless unavoidable of presence and holding most of the meetings virtually, avoidance of foreign travel as much as possible unless it is essential, market monitoring to keep the prices of daily commodities, including foodstuffs, at tolerable level and strengthening other measures including taking action against hoarding through mobile courts.
The ministry of education and the ministry of primary and mass education have taken necessary initiatives to rationalize the use of private vehicles in the transportation of students in educational institutions.
Taking necessary steps from the beginning of the financial year to increase internal resource mobilization has been stressed as NBR should take effective measures to achieve the target.
At the same time, it was mentioned at the meeting that every ministry will review its own procurement plan and take initiatives to reduce revenue expenditure