The government will enhance the facilities of Mirsarai Economic Zone (MEZ) to accelerate economic growth by attracting more investment, both local and foreign.
It will generate jobs and fast-track development to help the economy offset the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, sources said.
The government will take effective steps to build infrastructures and provide other policy supports to improve the investment-friendly environment, they added.
Sharifa Khan, member (secretary) of the industry and energy department of the planning commission in charge of the project, said, “Implementation of the project will create opportunities for attracting domestic and foreign investment in the proposed area. It will help create rapid industrialization and product diversification. It will also increase the export earnings.”
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She hopes that the implementation of the project would provide employment to a large number of people including women which would help in alleviating poverty.
A Planning Commission official said that the first amendment proposal of the project titled “BEPZA Economic Zone Mirsarai First Phase” has been sent to the Planning Commission. Expenditure and duration are increasing at this stage, he added.
He said the PEC (Project Evaluation Committee) meeting was held on March 8 after receiving a proposal from the Prime Minister's Office.
Following the recommendations given at the meeting, the project has been recommended to be presented at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), he mentioned. Once approved, the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) will complete its implementation by June 2023, he further said.
According to sources, the total cost of the project has been estimated at Tk 750.58 crore. Expenditure from there increased by Tk 552.32 crore and now stands at Tk 1,302.91 crore.
The aim of the project is to create 539 industrial plots with all facilities for setting up industrial factories for domestic and foreign investors.
Two standard factory buildings have been built, creating employment for about four lakh Bangladeshis. Attracting about $2,700 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) and increasing export earnings by $3,234 million.
A 25.24 km long drainage network will be constructed for reserving rainwater and a 45 acre reservoir and a sewage treatment plant for environmental protection and four central liquid waste management pipelines will be set up
According to the project proposal, Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) has been contributing to foreign exchange earnings and job creation by attracting domestic and foreign investment by setting up industrial plots with modern facilities.
There are currently no vacant industrial plots in the eight EPZs run by BEPZA. The Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) has given 1,150 acres of land to BEPZA for the establishment of BEPZA Economic Zone, Mirsarai in Block 14 of Bangabandhu Industrial City due to increasing demand for investment.
The reason given for the revision of the project is that the number of industrial plots has been increased from 250 to 539, which has increased the amount of land development and construction of other physical infrastructure and added some new organs.
For this reason, it has been proposed to extend the implementation period of the project for another two years till June 2023.
Under the new proposal, the total expenditure on 34 organs has increased by Tk 467.70 crore and the expenditure on 27 organs has decreased by a total of Tk 97.94 crore. As a result, the total expenditure has increased to Tk 369.76 crore.
The project includes the necessary equipment, including a B-type fire station, two factory buildings, sidewalks, car repair and maintenance, three residential buildings, a mosque and a medical center. As a result, Tk 182.56 crore has been added for new organs.