Be self-reliant gradually by increasing revenues, PM Hasina to local govt bodies

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina and planning minister MA Mannan joined the ECNEC meeting from the prime minister’s official Ganabhaban residence, Dhaka through videoconferencing on 28 July 2020
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina and planning minister MA Mannan joined the ECNEC meeting from the prime minister’s official Ganabhaban residence, Dhaka through videoconferencing on 28 July 2020UNB

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved seven projects with an outlay of Tk 30.75 billion, including a Tk 23.34 billion project to modernise the sewerage system and improve sanitation system in Khulna city.

The approval came from the ECNEC meeting held virtually with prime minister and ECNEC chairperson Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The prime minister and planning minister MA Mannan joined the meeting from the prime minister’s official Ganabhaban residence through videoconferencing, while other ECNEC members were connected from NEC Conference Room in the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

“We’d placed seven projects of three ministries in today’s ECNEC meeting. Five projects are new while two others are revised projects. The total estimated cost of these seven projects is Tk 3,075.33 crore,” said the planning minister at a virtual media briefing.

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Of the total cost of these projects, Tk 2,132.88 crore will come from the national exchequer, while the rest Tk 942.46 crore will come as foreign loans,” he said.

The minister further said the good news is that the cost of the two revised projects has declined rationally keeping the projects perfect and not disturbing their possible outputs. “They (the authorities concerned of the projects) saved Tk 585.86 crore from the two projects.”

About the Amar Bari Amar Khamar Project, the planning minister said prime minister Sheikh Hasina has said that the project was taken so that the people can be self-reliant and come out of the vicious cycle of microcredit. She asked the people to try to be self-reliant, MA Mannan said

The seven projects include three under the Local Government Division, one under the Rural Development and Cooperatives Division, two under the agriculture ministry and one under the ICT Division.

Regarding the Khulna Sewerage System Development project involving Tk 2,334.14 crore, the planning minister said Khulna WASA will implement the project by June 2025 in a bid to modernise the sewerage system as well as improve the sanitation system.

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Of the total cost, Tk 929.42 crore will come from the government’s fund while Tk 1,404.72 crore as foreign loans.

According to the Planning Commission, the main project operations include construction of two sewerage treatment plants, 173-km sewer network, eight sewer pumping stations, 77-km services line and one Wet Land, installation of connections to 30,000 house, procurement of sewer cleaning equipment, laboratory equipment and development of 115,741-cubic metre of land.

The approved four new projects are Sheikh Russel Digital Lab (Phase-II) Establishment Project with Tk 938.73 crore; Mujibnagar Irrigation Development Project with Tk 231.33 crore; Water Supply System Rehabilitation in Rajshahi City with the Tk 93.45 crore and Development of Cotton Research and Transfer of Technology Project with Tk 63.55 crore.

The two revised projects are Income Support Programme for the Poorest (ISPP) (3rd revised) Project and Amar Bari Amar Khamar (My house my farm) (4th revised) project.

With the latest revision, the cost of the ISPP project has come down to Tk 1980.59 crore as the total expenditure reduced by Tk 460.87 crore, while the cost of Amar Bari Amar Khamar project came down to Tk 7,885.27 crore declining by Tk 125 crore.

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During the approval of projects related to the local government, the prime minister directed the local government bodies to be self-reliant gradually by increasing their revenues.

“Now you’ll have to think how the local government bodies can be self-reliant gradually,” the prime minister was quoted as saying.

About the Amar Bari Amar Khamar Project, the planning minister said prime minister Sheikh Hasina has said that the project was taken so that the people can be self-reliant and come out of the vicious cycle of microcredit. She asked the people to try to be self-reliant, MA Mannan said.

While giving approval to the digital lab project, the prime minister asked the authorities concerned to design such projects more for the capacity-building of the students.

During the ECNEC meeting, Mannan said, the prime minister asked again the authorities concerned for strengthening coordination among the agencies for implementation of the projects properly in time.