Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said the domestic consumption of gas should be totally ruled out, with the connections diverted to the industrial units -- so that businesses can grow further.
The minister also came down on the state-owned gas exploring agency Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration Company (Bapex) due to what he said its inefficiency in well drilling.
“Bapex has explored only five wells over the last nine years. The company is just stupid,” said Muhith at a discussion of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The discussion was organised on the occasion of the first anniversary of Business Initiative Leading Development, a public-private platform for holding dialogues to resolve business problems.
“We failed in attracting investment and we have a lot of causes,” said Muhith, while claiming substantial growth in other areas of the economy.
He said Bangladesh will receive electricity from India by June of next year, and the constriction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) station will be completed in the next nine months.
Meanwhile, AK Azad, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), said the private sector entrepreneurs are not getting loans from the banking sector in the wake of the Hall-Mark Group scam.
He said the finance ministry did not take actions against the Hall-Mark Group despite central bank's recommendations.
In response to recent criticism over FBCCI's lack of action in the Hall-Mark Group scam, Azad said: “I cannot take the law in my own hands. I have been urging the government to take action against the group.”
The government has selected 12 important sectors as priority areas for growth of business, said Shaikh Md Wahid-uz-Zaman, principal secretary to the Prime Minister.
Nihad Kabir, vice-president of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and ABM Khorshed Alam, managing director of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Foundation, also spoke at the session moderated by DCCI President Asif Ibrahim.