State Minister for Power Iqbal Hassan Mahmud will sit in a meeting today (Tuesday) with the officials of Dhaka Electric Supply Company (DESCO), Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) and Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) to speed up offloading of shares of the companies.
Some 25 per cent shares of the PGCB and DESCO are scheduled to be offloaded to the public through the stock market by May 15.
Mahmud said there is a need for huge local and foreign investment to end the current nagging power crisis.
Lack of capital is hindering the overall power generation, maintenance and supply, he lamented.
The state minister termed the move of offloading the shares of PGCB and DESCO as a major step towards strengthening their capital base.
This initiative will also help ensure transparency in the power sector, he added.
"The power division has taken the initiative to expedite the process of offloading 25 per cent stakes of the DESCO and PGCB each", he further said.
The government has taken the decision aiming to corporatise the power generation, supply and transmission entities.
The power division at a meeting with the government agencies concerned has decided to evaluate the assets and liabilities of the two power entities.
"We have initiated to offload the shares of the DESCO and the PGCB under the power sector reform programme", Mahmud said.
He observed that country would be able to achieve investors' confidence and its share market will be more vibrant following the offloading of the shares.
The DESCO has been authorised to supply electricity to the city's Gulshan, Mirpur and Uttara zone while the PGCB is engaged in transmission of power across the country.
Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (DESA) sources said through this initiative, the power sector's accountability and efficiency will increase significantly.
"The government will be able to earn credibility by reducing dependency on foreign investment," a high official of the DESCO expressed his optimism.
He said donors are interested to finance DESCO rather than DESA, which is yet to be privatised.
The government had formed the two power entities -- PGCB and DESCO -- as a pre-condition for further donors' assistance to the power sector.
The government is going to offload the shares of the DESCO and the PGCB in line with its commitment to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB).
PGCB shares worth Tk 910 million and DESCO shares worth Tk 320 million will be sold to the public through stock exchange, sources concerned said.
Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB), a state-owned institutional investor will be appointed as manager to the issues for the companies.