The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved a total of 12 projects worth Tk 12,016.88 crore.
The approval came from a meeting of the ECNEC held with its chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The Premier joined the meeting virtually from her official Gonobhaban residence while Ministers, State Ministers, Planning Commission members and Secretaries concerned attended the meeting from the NEC Conference Room at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said that the meeting approved a total of 12 projects involving an estimated cost of Tk 12,016.88 crore.
Of the total project cost, Tk 7,990.14 crore will come from the government, Tk 594.43 crore from the concerned organization's own fund while the rest Tk 3,432.31 crore as project assistance.”
Replying to a question on the latest crisis in Sri Lanka, the Planning Minister said that Bangladesh does not spend money on any unnecessary projects.
“Considering the economic situation and social aspect, you do not compare Bangladesh with Sri Lanka. Some people are putting Sri Lanka on Bangladesh, it is not right,” he mentioned.
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are completely two different economies and their fundamentals are also different, he added.
“We are keeping close eye on the remarks of the experts and researchers and we should be careful. But, I think there is not any reasonable doubt to think like that.”
When asked about the budget recommendation of a chamber for not incorporating too many Development schemes in the fresh Annual Development Programme (ADP), Mannan said that since the Awami League government is running the country, it has duties and responsibilities to its people.
He said the government makes its own decisions based on the track record, experiences, global market situation and also knowing about the mindset of the development partners.
“The government of Sheikh Hasina is a proactive government and it wants to unleash development by being proactive. We’ve given full freedom to the private sector to do their work, and our main goal is to ensure sustainable development," Mannan said.
He added that the budget recommendations of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries (DCCI), deemed practical, would be considered.
However, of the approved 12 projects, 10 are new, two are revised.
The Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) under the Local Government Division will implement the Urban Development and City Governance (UDCG) project with around Tk 3.397.81 crore by December 2026.
The project will be implemented at Narayanganj, Gazipur and Cumilla City Corporation areas and also in Cox's Bazar Pourashava.
Out of the total project cost, Tk 1,182.24 crore will come from the state coffer while the rest Tk 2,215.55 crore as project loan from JICA.
Another project titled “Dhaka Power System Expansion and Strengthening Project in DESCO Areas” was also approved at the meeting involving Tk 2,272.47 crore to increase the power distribution capacity of the Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (DESCO) in a bid to ensure sustainable and reliable power supply to its clients.
DESCO under the Power Division of the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry will implement the project by December 2025.
Of the total project cost of Tk 2,272.47 crore, the government will provide Tk 446.50 crore, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide Tk 1,231.54 crore as loan while the rest Tk 594.42 crore will come from the concerned organisation's own fund.
Besides, President Md Abdul Hamid Shilpokola Academy and regional cultural center, Mithamoin, Kishoreganj with Tk 69.56 crore, Bangladesh Oceanographic Research Institute (2nd phase) with Tk 443.94 crore, Construction and reconstruction of government Shishu Poribar and Chotomoni Nibash hostels, 1st revised with an additional cost of Tk 88.49 crore, and Irrigation Management Improvement (IMI) for Muhuri Irrigation, 3rd revised with a reduced cost of Tk 17.45 crore were approved at the meeting.
The other projects approved in the meeting are Coastal Embankment Rehabilitation, improvement of drainage system and embankment protection at Tazumuddin and Lalmohan upazilas in Bhola district, 1st phase of Tk 1,096.60 crore, irrigation and drainage system development at Purbadhala upazila in Netrokona with Tk 205.94 crore, Riverbank protection work, wave protection and canal re-excavation at 10 upazilas under Kishoreganj district with Tk 654.26 crore, Rural infrastructures development in Jhenaidah district with Tk 500 crore, Rural infrastructures development in greater Pabna and Bogura districts, 2nd phase of Tk 1,400 crore, and establishment of Essential Drugs Company Limited, Manikganj Plant with Tk 1,905.26 crore.