(By Mark Dummet, BBC.co.uk) Dhaka — The prime minister of Bangladesh has ordered male government employees to stop wearing suits, jackets and ties to save electricity.

Sheikh Hasina told officials that doing so would minimise their use of air-conditioners.

Bangladesh suffers from daily power cuts as power plants are unable to meet the country’s demand.

A senior official told the BBC the government would soon encourage [private] businesses to follow its example.

Bangladesh’s official dress code has been rewritten – after Sheikh Hasina ordered government employees to do more to ease the country’s energy shortage.

Even ministers now will no longer be expected to wear suits and ties.

During the hot months between March and November, men have been ordered to wear trousers and shirts instead, and these do not have to be tucked in any more.

Officials and ministers have also been told not to turn their air-conditioners below 24C [75F].

In June, the government introduced daylight saving, and the clocks moved forward by one hour, in another attempt to cut energy consumption.

It has said it will also soon spend $6bn (£3.6bn) on new power plants, operated by private companies.

The current state-owned plants have not been able to keep up with Bangladesh’s large population and its economy, which has been growing at about 6% annually for the past five years.

The energy sector in the country has been beset by allegations of mismanagement and corruption.

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1. a) What is the capital of Bangladesh?
b) Who is the prime minister of Bangladesh?
c) Name the countries that border Bangladesh.

2. The first paragraph of a news article usually answers the questions who, what, where and when.
List the who, what, where and when found in paragraph 1 of this article.

3. The remainder of a news article answers the why and/or how – it provides the details. Explain the why from the article.

4. a) What do you think of the Bangladeshi government’s strategy to save electricity?
b) Would you support the same type of strategy in the U.S.?
c) Ask a parent the same questions.


The economy has grown 5-6% per year since 1996 despite inefficient state-owned enterprises, delays in exploiting natural gas resources, insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and inefficiently-governed nation. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the service sector, nearly two-thirds of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single-most-important product. Garment exports and remittances from Bangladeshis working overseas, mainly in the Middle East and East Asia, fuel economic growth. In 2008 Bangladesh pursued a monetary policy aimed at maintaining high employment, but created higher inflation in the process.


Read about Bangladesh at the CIA World FactBook website.

Go to worldatlas.com for a map of Bangladesh.

Visit the Bangladeshi government’s official website at bangladesh.gov.bd.

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