The Bangladesh Rural Electrification (RE) Program was founded with a Presidential Ordinance in October 1977 that established the Rural Electrification Board (REB) as the semi-autonomous government agency reporting to the Ministry of Power Energy and Minerals Resources. which was responsible for electrifying rural Bangladesh. Since its inception, the purpose of the program has been to use electricity as a means of creating opportunities for improving agricultural production and enhancing socio-economic development in rural areas, whereby there would be improvements in the standard of living and quality of life for the rural people.
Today there are 67 operating rural electric cooperatives called Palli Bidyuit Samity (PBS), which bring service to approximately 54,00,000 new connection being made and more than 14,000 kms of line being constructed each year.
Enormous changes have occurred in areas all across rural Bangladesh due to people having access to electricity. The magnitude of changes and the impact of the RE Program is vast and diversified and information documenting these have become more acute in recent years. All stakeholders, particularly the Government of Bangladesh and the development partners need documentation that supports the large funding requirements that are needed to expand the program further. Given these circumstances, decisions were taken to have this “Econo0mic and Social Impact Evaluation Study of the Bangladesh Rural Electrification Program”. this Study was begun in March 2002 with the selection of the Human Development Research Centre (HDRC), an established Bangladeshi consulting firm working under the leadership of Dr. Abul Barkat of Dhaka University.
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