Ecnec okays Tk 2,744 crore projects

PM proposes taking loan from forex reserves

Nine projects involving Tk 2,744.44 crore were approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) in the first Ecnec meeting of the new fiscal year (2020-21) held at the NEC Conference Room in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area on Monday.

The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Planning Minister MA Mannan joined the meeting from Ganobhaban through video conference whereas some other Ministers and State Ministers also attended the meeting with Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned in attendance.

“Today’s Ecnec meeting approved nine projects under four ministries and the total estimated cost of these projects is Tk 2,744.44 crore”, Planning Minister MA Mannan said at a virtual press briefing after the meeting.

Of the cost, Taka 1,353.70 will be borne from the state exchequer, while Taka 440.79 crore from own funds of the agencies concerned and Taka 949.96 crore as project assistance, he added.

The day’s approved projects include four projects under LGRD and Cooperatives Ministry, two each under the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and the Water Resources Ministry, and the rest one under the Shipping Ministry.

The four projects under the LGRD and Cooperatives Ministry are Construction of 1490-metre Long PC Girder Bridge on Panchpir Bazar-Chilmari Upazila Head Quarter Road over the Teesta River at Sundarganj Upazila under Gaibandha district (2nd revised) Project; Rupganj Jalshiri Abashon Connecting Road Development (1st revised) Project; Development of Rural Infrastructures in Jamalpur and Sherpur Project; and Bridge Construction over Dakatia River at Faridganj in Chandpur Project.

The two projects under the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry are Installation of Single Point Mooring (SPM) with double pipelines (2nd revised) Project; Ghorashal Unit Third Repowering (1st revised) Project.

The two projects under the Water Resources Ministry are rehabilitation of three projects in Dhamurhat, Patnitola and Mohadebpur upazila under Naogaon district and Atrai River Bank Protection including dredging works project.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Water Development Board under the Ministry of Water Resources will implement the Rehabilitation of Dinajpur Town Protection Project and Dredging of Dhepa and Gorveswari Rivers adjacent to Dinajpur Town by June 2023.
The main aim of this project is to protect the Dinajpur town from flood and erosion through dredging of these rivers.

The main project operations include 7,515 km riverbank protection, another 2,250 km of riverbank protection, some 75.50 km of River dredging, some 46.32 km of embankment reshaping, construction of one regulator and renovation of 15 regulators.

The lone project under the Shipping Ministry is Establishment of global marine distress and safety and integrated marine navigation system (EGIMNS) Project.

However, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has proposed taking the amount as loan from forex reserves and asked Bangladesh Bank to check whether the proposal is feasible as the country's foreign exchange reserves reached the high-ever $36.14 billion this month.

“We think it is up to the government to decide,” Planning Minister MA Mannan said in reaction to the proposal at the virtual press briefing adding people's money will be spent for their welfare.

“We have the central bank and the finance ministry to look into the rules and regulations that are to be followed in this regard”, he concluded.