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ECNEC approves 8 projects with Tk 10,102cr

15 July 2020, 12:12:36

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today approved eight projects with an overall estimated cost of Taka 10,102.03 crore, including a Tk 4,025.62 crore project to develop road infrastructures and drainage system in newly included 18 wards under Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC).

The approval came from the 2nd ECNEC meeting of the current fiscal year (FY21) held with ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The premier and Planning Minister MA Mannan joined the meeting virtually from Ganobhaban through a videoconference, while other ECNEC members were connected from the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

“Today (Tuesday) we placed eight projects of five ministries in the meeting and all the projects were approved. The total estimated cost of the projects is Taka 10,102.03 crore. Out of this, Taka 10,068.90 crore will come from the government’s fund, while the res Taka 33.13 crore from the funds of the organisations concerned,” said the planning minister at a virtual press briefing after the ECNEC meeting.

The eight projects include two each from the Local Government Division, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Land, one each from the Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Ministry and the Power Division.

The ‘Construction and Development of Road Infrastructures and Drainage System of the newly included 18 Wards of Dhaka North City Corporation (Phase-I) Project’ aims to ease traffic congestion, addressing water logging and smoothing public movement in the extended city area.

The main project operations include development of 182.78 km road network for enhancing the security of vehicular movement and easing traffic congestion, construction of 233.97-km drain and development of 28.51-km canal, installation of LED lights, acquiring 69.48-acre land in the expanded city area.

The DNCC will implement the project by December 2023 and the entire project cost will be borne from the state coffer, said the planning minister.

During the approval of the project, the Prime Minister asked the local government bodies to enhance their revenue income to become self-reliant for implementing development activities with own fund, said Mannan.

Sheikh Hasina also asked the authorities concerned to be careful so that bridges are not constructed indiscriminately.

She said there are huge bridges over the rivers in this country. “Everyone thinks that there’ll be a bridge in front of his house. It is not possible financially and it’ll also cause drying up of rivers and thus damage of environment,” she added.

The PM also directed the authorities concerned for taking austerity measures to reduce the project costs avoiding unimportant expenditures.

Talking about the agricultural mechanization through integrated management project with Taka 3,020.06 crore, the planning minister said the government will provide agricultural machineries to the farmers at 70 percent and 50 percent subsidized prices in the haor and coastal areas respectively.

He said the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) will implement the project by December 2025.

While clearing the project, the Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to examine the quality of the locally produced agricultural machines, saying that the government will promote local machines if these are of good quality, Mannan informed.

The main operations of the project include collection and distribution of some 51,300 machines of different technology (combined harvester, rice transplanter, power thresher dryer, power weeder, power sprayer, potato digger, maize sheller) as well as providing trainings to rural mechanics, agricultural officers, farmers and entrepreneurs.

The major objectives of the project include preventing 10-15 percent of crop from wastage, and saving time and money in cultivation by enhancing the supply and use of modern agricultural machines; reducing agricultural production costs and boosting the productivity and thus alleviating poverty.

The ECNEC also approved another project titled Increasing Production of Oil-Bearing Crops Project involving Taka 278.26 crore under the Agriculture Ministry aiming to meet the local demand of edible oil and reduce the import costs in this sector.

The ECNEC meeting also cleared the revision of another DNCC project titled Construction of Drainage and Footpaths including development of different damaged Road Infrastructures of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) (2nd revised) Project with an additional cost of Taka 55.89 crore.

The two projects of the Land Ministry are ‘Enhancing digital survey capacity of Land Record and Survey Department for conducting land survey through digital system project with a cost of Taka 1,212.54 crore and Land Management Automation Project with Taka 1197.03 crore.

During the approval of the two land projects, the Prime Minister directed the land minister to conduct land records and survey properly in case of the lands of the people from small ethnic groups living in the plain land.

The remaining two projects cleared in the meeting are Power Supply through Installation of Solar Panels in the remote CHT areas (Phase-I) with Taka 217.71 crore and development of Power Distribution System, Rangpur Zone (1st revised) Project with an additional cost of Taka 94.92 crore.

The planning minister said the implementation rate of Annual Development Programme (ADP) was 80 percent in the last fiscal year (2019-2020), which was 94 percent in 2018-19 fiscal year.

Ministers and state ministers attended the meeting while Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned were present.

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