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Page last updated at 15:41 GMT, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 16:41 UK

Bangladesh suit ban to save power

By Mark Dummet
BBC News, Dhaka

People in a market in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Bangladesh's power plants have not kept pace with a rising population

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 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.

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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