Let there be a JS discussion on power, law and order
Regardless of the cheery rhetoric by key functionaries of the Awami League-led government, several lawmakers of the ruling alliance, including some AL stalwarts, have time and again warned, both inside and outside parliament, that electricity crisis, and law and order could haunt the incumbents come the next general elections. In an apparent continuation of the same theme, Mayenuddin Khan Badal of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, a component of the AL-led ruling alliance, demanded a general discussion on power supply, and law and order in parliament. According to a report front-paged in New Age on Monday, he asked: ‘Why should we hear so much criticism of the power, and law and order situation?’ He suggested that a discussion in parliament should be organised ‘to enable lawmakers to come up with their suggestions to solve the crisis.’ The JSD lawmaker also warned that the incumbents must ‘deliver’ or ‘the doomsday is ahead’.
A sustained law and order downslide and an increasingly erratic power supply, among host of other issues, seem to have become the signature of the AL-led government. While key functionaries of the government, especially the home minister, continue with their claim of unprecedented improvement in law and order, crime seems to have been on a steep upward curve since the incumbents assumed office in January 2009. In most cases, criminals have appeared to be one step ahead of law enforcers. As such, even in some of the high-profile cases, e.g. the murders of the journalist couple of Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi, and the Saudi diplomat, the police and other law enforcement agencies have not been able to identify the killers, let alone put them in the dock. Worse still, there have been cases, in which law enforcers were accused of wrongdoing.
The least said about the electricity supply situation the better. The government’s preferred tool to resolve electricity crisis — the quick rental power plants — have apparently compounded the situation. The exorbitant price charged by these plants has resulted in an unprecedented surge in government subsidy in the power sector, spurring inflation and thus causing serious macroeconomic instability. Meanwhile, on the ground of downsizing subsidy, the power tariff has already been increased five times in just over a year. Worse still, the Power Development Board has recently proposed yet another increase in bulk power tariff, by a whopping 50 per cent. As it is now, the equation for the consumers seems to be ‘pay more and more but get poorer and poorer service.’
Against such a grim backdrop, the JSD lawmaker’s demand for a general discussion in parliament on power supply, and law and order appears more than justified, and hence needs to be paid heed to — the sooner the better.
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