The government has announced a fresh holiday staggering plan for area-based industries to minimise consumption of both natural gas and electricity.
The new plan was announced through a notification by the Ministry of Labour and Employment on Thursday.
The notification was issued as per provision 114 (2) of Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006, for the sake of people, said the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
The new notification came in line with the recent announcement of State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid following his meeting with different business bodies on August 7.
After the meeting he said that industries across the country will remain closed one day a week under a fresh area-based load shedding plan.
Under a staggering programme an area-based factory holidays will be maintained to minimise consumption of both natural gas and electricity.
As per the gazette notification, industries of a certain area will remain closed for a day as holiday while other areas will remain open. In that case, from Friday to Thursday, each of the days will be applicable for keeping the industries closed in a certain area as holiday across the country instead of the currently applicable Friday and Saturday.
Officials of the Power Division said that the new rationing system will help save around 500-550 MW of electricity, he said.
The government earlier on April 12 had imposed a four hour gas rationing for industries across the country from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm daily to save natural gas.
Although the initial decision was to continue gas rationing for 15 days, the government withdrew it after 10 days of its execution amid protests from business enterprises.
During the meeting Nasrul said that the countrywide load-shedding will ease in September.
“Load-shedding can come down to half from the current level in September and the country may get rid of load-shedding from October,” he added.
During the meeting the business leaders requested to provide uninterrupted electricity supply and keep the captive power plants outside the purview of tariff hike.
Under an ongoing austerity measure all the diesel-fired power plants are now shut and load-shedding is being implemented officially from July 19 to reduce diesel imports and save foreign currency.
Although area-based load-shedding was scheduled for one hour, it allegedly continued for three hours at a time in some city areas across the country.
Load shedding in rural and remote areas, however, stretched for more hours, consumers claim.
Markets and shopping malls can now stay open until 8:00 pm.
The government also prohibited illumination in different social gatherings in community centers, shopping malls, shops, offices and houses since July 7.