Business leaders fear that the rationing of electricity through rolling power outages for one hour every day might feed into their already-increased business costs.
The decision to offset the power generation deficit following the operation suspension at diesel-based power plants has come at a time when a number of industries, such as textiles, steel, and cement, are already operating with reduced capacity because of gas supply shortages, they point out.
The area-based load shedding will take them out of the frying pan into the fire, they say, expressing worries.
Great Wall Ceramic Industries Ltd, the country's largest tiles manufacturer, has drastically reduced its production owing to low gas pressure.
Md Shamsul Huda, vice-president at Bangladesh Ceramics Manufacturing and Exporters Association and managing director of Great Wall Ceramic, told The Business Standard, "We kept our factory closed for 15 days in June owing to low gas pressure. We are somehow running the factory on a single shift only."
The one-hour recurring blackout will put them into more trouble, he said.
Kamruzzaman Kamal, director (Marketing) at Pran-RFL Group, "If we face power outages, our production will be hampered, which will put a negative impact on our exports."
He demands that the government keep the industrial sector out of the purview of the rolling power outages.
Seeking anonymity, a leading textile factory entrepreneur told TBS that gas pressure has now come down to 1.5-3.2 psi against the demand for 15 psi. That is why their production has drastically reduced.
However, talking to TBS, Kutubuddin Ahmed, chairman at Envoy Textile Ltd, said the electricity rationing decision comes as part of a crisis management policy by the government.
"Industries will be able to cope with an hour of load shedding by captive power but we should go back to full supply of electricity as soon as possible."
Entrepreneurs should prioritise the country over their businesses, he also said.
Mohammad Ali Khokon said, "Every country is facing such a crisis, we should go for austerity to run the wheels of industries."
"We must take decisions to keep industries alive, otherwise the economy will not survive," he added.