Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on June 9 placed in parliament a Tk 678,064 crores budget for the fiscal year 2022-23. The new national budget was proposed at a time when Bangladesh, like other countries in the world, is passing through various economic challenges, which emerged mainly from the Ukraine war that started just when the economies were gradually recovering from the fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bangladesh is not an exception. The country’s economy was recovering fast, but the hikes in the energy and food prices in the international markets have somewhat destabilized the major economic indicators. Yet, the finance minister expected the economy to grow at a high rate of 7.5 percent without much impact on the price situation as the inflation rate is expected to remain within 5.5-5.6 percent. However, a smooth supply of quality power and energy at an affordable rate is essential for the development of every sector, including industries. To ensure that there is no alternative to increasing the contribution of the country’s own fuel in the fuel mix through expediting exploration and development. It is not possible to increase energy prices too often. The proposed budget has not given enough attention to the exploration and modernization of the power and energy value chain.
A special allocation should be earmarked for expediting exploration activities. If necessary, allocations for the less-priority sectors could be revised before passing the budget.
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We regret that we could not publish our annual issues in 2020 and 2021 due to unavoidable circumstances amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Though we’re stepping into the 20th year of publication on 16 June 2022, this year’s annual issue will be published in August next as we’re working on it besides our regular issues.