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Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday asked state-owned companies like Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) to be self-reliant so that they do not have to depend on government funds.

The prime minister made the directive while presiding over a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) at the capital’s NEC Conference Room. She joined the meeting virtually from her official residence, Gonobhaban.

Planning minister MA Mannan briefed reporters after the meeting from an online platform.

“The prime minister instructed the state-owned companies to spend money from their own incomes. No money will be allotted from the government funds in the future. They need to stand on their own feet,” said Mannan.

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He further said the prime minister made the directive while approving a project titled ‘Installation of Telecommunication Network in Economic Zones (Phase-I)’ at the meeting.

BTCL will implement the Tk 901.2 million (90.12 crore) project by June 2023 in Srihatta economic zone in Moulvibazar, Sabrang and Naf Tourism Park at Teknaf, Sonadia Tourism Park at Maheshkhali and Jamalpur Economic Zone. The entire money will come from the state coffer.

The prime minister also directed the authorities concerned to quickly complete the construction works on a super specialised hospital under Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, said Mannan.

The directive came during the approval of the first revision of ‘Specialised Hospital Establishment under Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University’ project with the deadline extension and the rise in costs.

Now the project deadline has been extended up to June 2022 from December 2020, while the project cost has been raised to over Tk 15.61 billion (1561.18 crore) from the original estimated cost of over Tk 13.66 billion (1,366.34 crore).

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At the ECNEC meeting, a total of 10 projects involving the estimated cost of over Tk 119.01 billion (11,901.33 crore) were approved, said the planning minister.

Of them, Tk 89.91 billion (8,991.44 crore) will be borne from government funds, while Tk 21 billion (2,099.91 crore) will come as loan from foreign sources and the remaining Tk 8.09 billion (809.98 crore) from the own funds of the organisations concerned, he said.

Nine of the projects are new while another is a revised one.

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