Update February 3, 2021

Dhaka 2-42 pm, 31-July, 2021

ECNEC approves Tk 4,347.21cr Bangabandhu Shilpa Nagar Development Project

Mirajul Moin Joy

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today approved a Taka 4,347.21 crore project to develop the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar (BSMSN) as a state of the art and international standard greener economic zone of the country.

The approval came from the 21st meeting of the ECNEC in the current fiscal year (FY21) held with its Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The Premier chaired the meeting virtually from her official Ganobhaban residence.

Ministers, state ministers and others concerned attended the meeting from the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said that the ECNEC approved a total of eight projects today with an overall estimated cost of Taka 11,324.33 crore. “Of the total project cost, Taka 5,140.39 crore will come from the government of Bangladesh, Taka 18.12 crore form the concerned organization’s own fund while the rest Taka 6,165.82 crore as loan from foreign sources,” he added.

Of the approved eight projects, six are new while two others are revised projects.

The planning minister said Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) will implement the project titled “Development of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar” with an overall estimated cost of Taka 4,347.21 crore.

“Of the total project cost, Taka 3,967.47 crore will come from the World Bank as project loan while the rest Taka 379.74 crore from the government of Bangladesh,” he said.

BEZA will implement this project by December 2025, in order to create an enabling environment for sustainable private investment and a dynamic local market for industrial land.

Mannan said this huge project is being implemented at Mirersarai where foreign companies from countries like China, Japan and South Korea have already shown their interest to invest.

According to the Planning Commission, the project mainly aims to ensure infrastructural development of various zones including Zone 2A and Zone 2B of BSMSN and thus creating private investment friendly environment there.

Besides, it also aims to turn this BSMSN as a green economic zone as well as creating new employment opportunities through attracting necessary investment. The project will be implemented by December 2025 at Mirersarai in Chattogram.

The project also aims to attract local and foreign investment, ensuring speedy industrialization as well as product diversification, boosting export earnings and thus creating scopes for earning valuable foreign currency.

Besides, once the project is implemented, there will be huge employment opportunities, including for women, which will also play a supporting role in further alleviating poverty.

Talking to BSS recently, BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury informed that BEZA has already received investment proposals amounting to over US Dollar 20 billion from over 127 local and foreign business entities for the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar (BSMSN).

He also said beyond these investment proposals, many world-renowned foreign companies are coming with big investment offers.

Under the project, BEZA will construct a 30-kilometre road inside the BSMSN alongside other necessary infrastructures such as a central effluent treatment plant, desalination plant, solar energy systems, solid waste management, biogas plant, waste sorting facility, rooftop and floating solar.

Besides, there will be necessary land development, necessary site upgradation, constriction of one investor club and one stop service (OSS) center, one emergency response center, one skills development center, sanitation and water supply network along with telecommunications network, power network, gas pipeline network, environmental lab and monitoring system.

The BSMSN is taking shape day by day as investors have started developing the physical infrastructure of the 30,000-acre economic zone.

Referring to the approval of the Construction of important bridges on rural roads, 1st revised, project with an additional cost of Taka 2,530.43 crore, the planning minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the authorities concerned to remain cautious about site selection for such kind of bridges as none should be given undue favour or such bridges should not be built for the convenience of a particular individual.

“Rather, those should be built to meet the need of common people,” Mannan quoted the premier as saying.

The planning minister said the premier has also asked the authorities concerned, including the Local Government Division, the Roads and Highways Department and the Bridges Authority, to take care so that the usual flow of water in the rivers and the water bodies is not hindered after the construction of bridges unnecessarily.

The Prime Minister also directed the concerned authorities to pursue a master plan to ascertain how many bridges should to be built on a river. “Don’t take tentative decisions or a decision on the spot, rather take decisions following a master plan.”

Pointing towards the tendency of cost escalation of projects following the incorporation of newer items after project revisions, the Prime Minister has ordered the concerned authorities to identify those for whose faults the design of a project turned out to be faulty resulting in wastage of time and money.

“Take action against those who are liable for such deeds so that there is no such reoccurrence and it’s a general directive to all concerned. All must be careful and there should not be any delay while accomplishing your tasks,” added the premier.

Mannan said Sheikh Hasina also stressed the need for ensuring wider participation of contractors in the development works, including the fresh contractors, without breaking the existing laws, rules and regulations.

The premier issued a strong warning again that one project director should not remain in charge of several development projects, adding, “This is not at all acceptable…”

The Prime Minister also renewed her call to all the countrymen to maintain austerity while using water so that there is no misuse.

The other projects approved in the meeting are: Dhaka Environmentally Sustainable Water Supply Project, 1st revised with an additional cost of Taka 2,903.01 crore, Infrastructural Development of 10 pourashavas under Tangail district with Taka 272.34 crore, Vehicles operations training project with Taka 105.94 crore, Flourish of female entrepreneurs towards their economic empowerment at grassroots level with Taka 427.98 crore, Development of Eco System towards creating digital entrepreneurs and innovation with Taka 353.06 crore, and Cent percent reliable and sustainable electrification at Hatia Dip (island), Nijhum Dip and Kutubdia Dip with Taka 384.36 crore.

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