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NAN Media Consultants

Bangladesh to reduce gov’t working hours to save electricity

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Dhaka:  Energy-starved Bangladesh on Monday decided to reschedule working hours in government and autonomous institutions to save electricity and ease traffic gridlock.

The decision was made at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul said government offices and autonomous institutions will open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., instead of the usual eight hours from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

According to the cabinet secretary, banks in the country will remain open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

He said the government also decided to keep educational institutions closed two days a week to save energy.

Anwarul added that the decision which will come into force from Wednesday, is aimed at saving electricity and easing the perennial traffic congestion in the capital Dhaka.

In light of the crisis caused by the Ukraine war, Bangladesh announced in July a country-wide load shedding of up to two hours daily.

Hasina had earlier called on all citizens to maintain austerity and increase savings to contain any crisis in future.

She said prices of fuel oil have soared and many countries have been facing scarcity of power amid the recent global economic turmoil due to the impact of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The prime minister added that the Russia-Ukraine conflict also led to sharp rise in the prices of diesel needed for electricity, petrol and liquefied natural gas.

Earlier, Hasina indicated that her government would import crude oil from Russia, with non-dollar payment.

Earlier this month, Bangladesh’s retail fuel prices were hiked by up to 51.7 per cent, a level not seen since the country’s independence in 1971. (Xinhua/NAN) (www.nannews.ng) /Flowerbudnews