Dress down every day, office workers ordered

Bangladesh instructs men to ditch their suits and ties in bid to save electricity

Loosen up and chill. That's the order that has been delivered to staff from the Government of Bangladesh, which, in an effort to save electricity, has ordered male employees to stop wearing suits, jackets and ties to work.

Bangladesh, like many countries in south Asia, has for years been struggling with chronic power shortages that have held back economic development and created misery for millions of people sweltering through the blistering summers.

Earlier this year, thousands of workers fought running battles with police on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, after severe shortages halted work and forced students across the country to sweat through their annual exams.

Now, in the latest of several initiatives to try to ease the situation, the Government of Sheikh Hasina has decided to set an example by amending a 1982 dress code for its staff.

According to those regulations, male workers – or at least those at a mid-ranking or a senior level – were required to wear suits and ties or else jackets, despite the long, hot summers when temperatures can often rise above 40C.

But the Government is hoping to reduce the need for energy-hungry air conditioners by saying that men can simply wear trousers and short-sleeved shirts. They will not even be required to tuck those shirts in.

"The point is that some people wear suits and ties and then have the air conditioning up high. That can use up a huge amount of electricity," said Ruhul Alam Siddique, a diplomat at the Bangladesh High Commission in India. "Accordingly, an order has been made to change the dress code. Now people can come in wearing trousers and shirts."

Mr Siddique pointed out that the alteration to the dress code, which will also apply to Government ministers, is the most recent of several undertakings of the Government, elected late last year, to try and address the power shortages.

This summer, for instance, it told its 150 million citizens to set their clocks forward by an hour in the country's first daylight savings effort. Officials estimated that by doing so, the total demand for power would fall by around 5 per cent.

The Government also said this week that from next year it intended to distribute for free almost 27 million energy-saving light bulbs with help from the World Bank. Mohammad Enamul Haq, the junior minister for power and energy, said the measure should save about 350 megawatts of electricity a day. But such measures can go only so far in alleviating the power shortages in a country that daily has to resort to cuts, particularly during the summer.

After years of under-investment, it is estimated that Bangladesh is able to produce only 3,800 megawatts of electricity a day, even hough demand stands at around 5,000 megawatts.

This huge shortfall exists despite the fact that only 45 per cent of the country's population has access to electricity. With the country's economy growing at around 6 per cent a year, demand is increasing annually by an estimated 500 megawatts.

News
The author PD James, who died on 27 November 2014
people

Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94

Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
Life and Style
View of champagne glasses at a beach bar set up along the Croisette during the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on May 17, 2013
food + drink(and for now, there's a clear winner)
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Irradiated turkey and freeze dried mash potato will be on the menu this thanksgiving
video
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Langley James : CRM Services Manager; West London up to £40k

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Langley James : CRM Services Manager; West London u...

Langley James : IT Support; Residential Agency; Mayfair; up to £30k

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Langley James : IT Support; Residential Agency; May...

SThree: Associate Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree are seeking Associate Recruitm...

SThree: Associate Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree are seeking Associate Recruitm...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?