"Of the total project cost, Tk 59 billion (5,929.03 crore) will come from the government of Bangladesh portion while the rest of Tk 28 billion (2,810.65 crore) as project assistance," he said.

State minister for planning Shamsul Alam, planning commission members and secretaries concerned were present at the briefing.

Three of the approved six projects are new while the other three are revised projects.

The planning minister said out of the total project cost of Tk 71 billion (7,188.66 crore) for the upgradation of Cumilla (Mainamati)-Brahmanbaria (Dharkhar) National Highway into four-lane, Tk 28 billion (2,810.65 crore) will come from the Indian Line of Credit (LoC).

He opined that this project would turn the Sylhet and Chattogram region to the important commercial hub.

The Roads and Highways Department (RHD) under the Road Transport and Highways Division will implement the project by June 2026.

Once the project is implemented, it will strengthen the regional communication between India and Bangladesh and will turn Chattogram Port to the center of international trade and commerce.

The project is included in priority-2 of the eight priority corridors to boost bilateral and sub-regional trade with the neighboring countries including India under the technical assistance project titled "Technical Assistance for sub-regional Road Transport Project Preparatory Facility (SRTPPF)"

The main project operations include 102.79 hectares of land acquisition, 1,450,560 cubic metre of earth work, construction of 49.53 kilometre flexible pavement and 4.47 kilometre rigid pavement, construction of 14 bridges, one flyover, two underpasses, 50 culverts and 12 foot over bridges.

Revealing some of the directives from the premier, the planning minister said the prime minister again stressed boosting food production by not keeping any fertile land idle as well as conducting necessary researches.

The head of the government also put emphasis on completing development projects speedily within timeframe, giving due emphasis on training of nuclear medicine, ensuring optimum utilisation of equipment at the hospitals and imparting necessary training to the staffs and technicians for operating those alongside increasing facility of dialysis in the hospitals.

Mannan said the prime minister also underscored the need for expanding the cultivation of mushrooms especially button mushrooms in the country.

Turning to inflation, the planning minister hoped that the general point to point inflation is likely to reduce from October and thus continue onwards with the expectations of high yield of Aman and Boro paddy.

The rain over the last few days across the country has been a blessing for the farmers, he added.

"Hopefully, inflation will not turn deadly for us as it will ease from next month," he added.

Mannan said it is no denying the fact that Bangladesh is under some inflationary pressure due to the volatile global situation.

He said that developed economies like UK is now experiencing more than 10 per cent inflation while it is likely to experience more than 13 per cent next year.

The planning minister said that the fuel price is now coming down globally and the government has already reduced the price of fuels. He said hopefully there might be more adjustment in fuel price.

He said that despite the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, export of food grains has already started from Ukraine as well as export of sunflower oil, soybean oil.

Mannan also hailed the prime minister's decision to peruse austerity in all spheres of the government machinery as it has yielded savings of public fund.

Besides, he said that the import cost has come down while the exchange rate of Taka against US dollar has almost come to a stable situation.

Side by side, the flow of inward remittances has increased while the country's food reserve is now around 2 million metric tonnes, he added.

The planning minister said the ECNEC thanked the prime minister for her recent successful visit to India.

The premier also thanked the planning ministry and the planning commission for successfully completing the project formulation process during the difficult time of COVID-19 pandemic.

Answering to a question, Mannan said that on the whole, the government has been able to convey the message of pursuing austerity in all levels.

"But, we're yet to reach cent percent success in this regard and it's difficult. But, pressure will continue to this end," he said.

Replying to another question, state minister for planning Shamsul Alam said considering the construction cost, maintenance cost and available facilities, the proposed fare of the metro rail (MRT-6) would not be much and it seems to be rationale.

The other projects approved in the meeting are upgrading Barishal (Charkauwa) to Lakshmipur via Bhola (Ilsha Ferryghat) road into due standard and width, 1st revised with an additional cost of Taka 1.8 billion (189.78 crore), construction of elevated expressway from Lalkhan Bazar to Shah Amanat Airport in Chattogram with Tk 10 billion (1,048.11 crore), capacity enhancement of Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences at Mitford, Cumilla, Faridpur, Barishal and Bogura with TK 2.1 billion (214.79 crore) and nutrition development and poverty alleviation through expansion of mushroom cultivation with Tk 983.4  (98.34 crore).

Meanwhile, the day's meeting also approved the 4th revision of the Akhaura-Agartala dual-gauge rail link project (Bangladesh portion) through extending its timeframe.

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