|H. 2 Rabi' I 1445||No: 1445 / 05|
|M. Wednesday, 20 September 2023|
Capacity Charge in the Power and Electricity is designed to serve a Few Political and Capitalist Elites
The plague of Capitalism in Bangladesh ensures an arrangement known as capacity charge which is designed to benefit few political and capitalist elite. This is a guaranteed payment provided to private electricity producers (in addition to their regular wages/payments) whether or not electricity is produced by them. This arrangement is causing drainage of huge sums of money every year whilst ultimately the capitalist government is passing down the loan burden to the people mounting their misery. According to media sources, over Taka 1 trillion has already been paid to private power plants as capacity charge in last 14 years (Prothom Alo, 5 Sep 2023) and current year’s capacity payment is set to increase by 80-90 percent compared to last two years, leaving most Bangladeshi citizens struggling with higher costs for essential utility services as well as regular livelihood consumables.
The blood-sucking government bequeathing people’s money to private energy producers for energy that was never produced. They say that no private producer will bear the losses incurred from running an idle power plant if the government fails to purchase electricity from them. But still the capitalist government will not establish its own power plants other than handing over this vital sector to the elites to make their fortune out of it. How many power plants could be established by the government and how much electricity could be generated and supplied to the people using Taka 1 trillion? There is no justifiable rationale stemming from efficiency and economic considerations that can legitimize such decision. It is clear as daylight that this ‘corporate welfare’ amounts to taxpayers’ money is funneled directly into the pockets of certain individuals who hold powerful positions and connections in politics and business. A recent report from a monitoring body thus rightly pointed this as a ‘model of looting’. It is quite evident that current ruling system fails on leading Bangladesh towards a path in which all citizens have access not merely to basic necessities but also equitable share from meaningful development and growth.
In contrast, Islam’s economic system has clearly outlined that petroleum oil, gas, coal and electricity are considered to be of benefit to the entire community. These resources must remain public property and cannot be handed over to private owners for business dealings. In Islam, the Khilafah State (Caliphate) looks after these resources on behalf of the people. This is so that all citizens can benefit equally from these resources, without any individual or corporation monopolizing them solely for their own vested benefits. Public ownership in Islam is such an important and compelling issue that an individual or company can never own anything that permanently occupies any part of public roads, such as electric poles, water pipes, electric pole, telephone line, internet cables, television cables etc., let alone owning the road itself! This ensures the welfare of the entire community and no one dares to infringe public welfare, let alone doing business with public properties to make the entire community a hostage. By establishing the clear Shariah rules regarding ownership and use of public properties, the imminent Khilafah Rashida (rightly-guided Caliphate) state on the method of Prophethood will ensures justice and fairness throughout the entire society. Only through this ruling system people of Bangladesh can get rid of the injustice and distress they are currently upon due to capitalism’s robbery. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
«الْمُسْلِمُونَ شُرَكَاءُ فِي ثَلَاثٍ؛ فِي الْمَاءِ وَالْكَلَإِ وَالنَّارِ»
“The Muslims are partners in three, water, pastures and fire” (Ahmed, ibn Maja).
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