Govt working for zero poverty

Delta Plan 2100

With a view to bringing down poverty to zero level, the government is working in earnest as per the much-talked-about ‘Delta plan 2100’. The long-term mega project will play a significant role in making the country’s development sustainable. The project will also add 1.5 per cent GDP growth by 2030. The government would need $37 billion by 2030 for implementation of the Plan. The short term of the Plan will be implemented by 2030, the mid-term by 2050 and the long term by 2100.

A total of 80 projects have been selected for implementation under the Plan. Of them, 65 would be infrastructure projects while 15 others would aim at enhancing institutional capacity, efficiency and research. According to the planning ministry, the required fund for the 80 projects would come from the government, Green Climate Fund, development partners, foreign direct investment and private sector.

Talking to Bangladesh Post, senior secretary to General Economic Division of the planning ministry Prof Dr Shamsul Alam said, different projects of ministries have been prepared for Delta Plan 2100. “Proper implementation of the plan, bring poverty in the country to zero by 2040,” he added. About 70 percent areas in 16 districts, where poverty rate is very high, are most vulnerable to natural disasters, he mentioned. However, he said, the proper implementation through 65 projects, will add 1.5 percentage to GDP by 2030.

'Delta Plan 2100' is to ensure water and food security through water resources management, and tackling disaster and climate change, he said. The massive plan is going smoothly as the government has taken necessary steps to implement it properly, he said, adding that the main goals are to ensure safety from floods and climate change-related disasters, and water security to boost the country’s economy, he added.

“Our most important resources are water resources. If we could properly utilise these resources, we will certainly develop our agriculture sector and Bangladesh will grow much stronger economically,” he mentioned. "If we fail to implement the Delta Plan properly, it will then be impossible to sustain development,” Shamsul added. Based on experiences of the Netherlands, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had earlier directed the authorities concerned to frame such a plan to tap the maximum potentials of Bangladesh as a deltaic region.

He said that the Netherlands had been benefited largely through adopting such plan as that country was able to reclaim around 6,000 square kilometres of land in addition to the mainland. The Plan highlighted six hotspots including coastal areas (27,738 square kilometres), Barind and drought-prone region (22,848 square kilometres), haor and flash flood prone areas (16,574 square kilometres), CHT region (13,295 square kilometres), river region and estuaries (35,204 square kilometres) and urban region (19,823 square kilometres).
Coastal, Varendra (Barind) and drought-prone, haor and flood-prone, Chattogram Hill Tracts, riverine and urban are the six areas to be given priority in the Delta Plan.

About 0.5 percent from the private sector’s annual income could be added to the Delta Plan fund. Out of 2.5 percent of GDP required for implementation of the Plan, around 80 percent fund will come from government sources while the rest 20 percent from the private sector. The government now spends 0.8 percent of the GDP for Delta management projects and programmes. To implement the plan, 2.5 percent of the GDP would be required. Bangladesh is likely to get $2 billion assistance from Green Climate Fund every year.

The General Economics Division (GED) has prepared the Plan with assistance of the Dutch government and the World Bank. A total of 26 studies were carried out by local experts and the plan was prepared in consultation with different stakeholders. It took three and a half years before the plan was approved.