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Sheikh Hasina, also the ECNEC chairperson, presided over the meeting held at the NEC conference room, joining it virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.

"The final notice was served to complete the work on Kushtia Medical College. The prime minister issued a tough directive in this regard. She directed the planning commission to take punitive action against those responsible for its slow implementation," said planning minister MA Mannan while briefing reporters after the meeting.

He said IMED launched an investigation and finally submitted its report over the alleged irregularities in the work of the medical college project.

Mannan said the prime minister asked the authorities to take action against all those involved in the irregularities in implementing the project and asked them not to spare anyone, even if one goes on retirement.

Hasina asked the implementing agencies to complete the work on the project within the new timeframe. According to its original layout, the project was supposed to be implemented from January 2012 to December 2014 with a cost of over TK 2.75 billion.

In the second revision, the project cost was raised to over Tk 6.82 billion and the deadline was extended up to December 2023.

The ECNEC meeting approved a total of nine projects with the overall estimated cost of over Tk 605.51 billion (only additional costs of the revised projects were counted here).

"Of the total cost, over Tk 307.42 billion will be drawn from the government portion, while Tk 262.2 million will come from the fund of organisation concerned and the rest of over Tk 27.82 billion as project assistance from foreign sources," said the planning minister.

Among the nine projects, four are new, while five are revised ones.

Bangabandhu Tunnel 

MA Mannan said the ECNEC meeting was informed that the work on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman tunnel under the Karnaphuli Tunnel is likely to be completed well ahead of the stipulated timeframe of December 2022.

Out of the two channels of the tunnel, the work on one channel has already been completed and that of another channel is likely to be completed soon, most likely on Friday, he said.

"Hopefully, the work on the tunnel will be completed well before December 2022.....it's a matter of great pleasure for the government," he said, adding that the project didn't require any revision.

The prime minister said if foreign funding is not available against development projects, then the government could go for using its sound foreign currency reserves, he mentioned.

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