The Power Division’s probe committee found that inflated bills were issued to around 62,000 consumers
Technological transformation is necessary to ensure transparency and reduce corruption in the power and energy sector.
Nasrul Hamid, state minister of Power Energy and Mineral Resource, made the remark while addressing a seminar as the chief guest.
"If we could have done that earlier, we would not have experienced the recent incidents of inflated and ghost billing," he added.
Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB) organised the seminar titled "Bangabandhu: Energy Security and Today's Bangladesh" in collaboration with Bangladesh Independent Power Producer Association (BIPPA) on Thursday.
Household electricity consumers across the country have received electricity bills that were two-three times higher than usual for the months of April and May.
Some media outlets have reported that power distribution companies intentionally issued the ghost bills to meet the annual revenue target which was thought to be affected due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The Power Division's probe committee found that inflated bills were issued to around 62,000 consumers. However, a consumers' association and experts claimed that the number of victim is far higher.
Regarding energy security, Nasrul Hamid said following the ideology of Bangabandhu, his government has been taking all the required initiatives to supply quality and uninterrupted energy.
He said, "Currently 12 days are needed to unload fuel after ships carrying it arrive at the sea port. But in the near future, we will be able to unload it within two days, which is going to save around Tk1,000 crore."
"We supply energy to industries by importing Liquefied Natural Gas. And as part of ensuring further energy security, we import this fuel from the spot market to get a competitive price," he added.
Mollah M Amzad Hossain, editor of Energy and Power magazine presented the keynote paper while former governor of Bangladesh Bank Mohammed Farashuddin spoke as the guest of honor.
Regarding pipeline tied gas supply to households, Mohammed Farashuddin said using such a valuable product for cooking is a kind of luxury and a waste.
Mortuza Ahmed Farooq Chishti, former managing director of the Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Ltd (Bapex), said a lot of work has been done in the last ten years. However, some weaknesses still remain in the energy sector.
He said, "the board and the management are responsible for Bapex's poor condition today."
Mortuza Ahmed said that the management of Bapex should be given to officers who have technical and management capabilities, honesty and skill.
FERB's Executive Director Shamim Jahangir moderated the seminar while its Chairman Arun Karmaker chaired the program.