Update August 18, 2020

Dhaka 10-11 pm, 23-September, 2020

Ecnec clears Tk 846-cr road project to boost trade with India

Mirajul Moin Joy

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday cleared seven projects, including a Tk 846-crore one to widen Baraiyarhat-Heyanko-Ramgarh road under Chittagong and Khagrachhari districts, aiming to boost export-import between Bangladesh and India.

The approval came from the 5th Ecnec meeting of the current fiscal year, held using a digital platform with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The Prime Minister and Planning Minister MA Mannan joined the meeting from Ganobhaban through a videoconference, while other Ecnec members were connected from NEC Bhaban.

“Today (Tuesday), we placed seven projects of four ministries at the meeting and all the projects got approval. The total cost of the projects is Tk 3,461.97 crore,” said the planning minister at a virtual press briefing.

Of the total project cost, Tk 2,619.79 crore will be borne from the government fund, while the remaining Tk 862.18 crore from foreign sources either as loan or grant as the World Bank will provide Tk 260.98 crore as grant, he said adding that six of the approved projects are fresh ones.

Talking about the project titled ‘Widening of Baraiyarhat-Heyanko-Ramgarh Road’, MA Mannan said, “The road is very important. We’re improving the road to increase trade and business with India…. It’s a win-win situation for both of us – Bangladesh and India.”

The project will be implemented by June 2022, he said adding that both the countries are interested to enhance the trade and business using the road that connected Tripura of India and Chattogram port through the Naf River.

Of the project cost of Tk 845.53 crore, Tk 581.20 crore will come as foreign loan from the Indian Line of Credit (LoC) to Bangladesh, while the rest Tk 264.33 crore from the government fund, he said.

There is a possibility to develop a border-haat in Ramgarh as the project is expected to help develop the possible border market as well, he added.

At the Ecnec meeting, the Prime Minister dropped the proposal for the construction of a rest house spending Tk 2.79 crore from the project. She rather suggested that there could be a separate project for the construction of rest houses across the country where these are essential across, Mannan said.

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