Dhaka, Mar 05: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved a project for setting up Economic Zone dedicated for Japanese investors to be set up at Araihazar in Narayanganj with Taka 2,582.18 crore.With ECNEC chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, the approval came from the ECNEC meeting held at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area, BSS reported.
Briefing the reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said that a total of eight projects were approved today involving an overall estimated cost of Taka 6,276.24 crore.
“Of the total project cost, Taka 3,313.92 crore will come from the state exchequer while the rest of Taka 2,962.32 crore from project assistance,” he said.
All the approved eight projects are fresh projects.
The Planning Minister said out of the total project cost of Taka 2,582.18 crore for the Japanese Economic Zone, Taka 454.35 crore will come from the state exchequer while the rest of Taka 2,127.82 crore as project assistance from Japan through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The decision to set up a special economic zone for Japanese investors was taken during the visits of the prime ministers of both Bangladesh and Japan to each other’s country in 2014.
Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), the implementing agency of the project titled ‘Infrastructure Development for Japanese Economic Zone at Araihazar’, will develop land, construct access roads and set up a power plant, sub-station, transmission lines and gas pipelines under the project.
Earlier in 2017, the government took up a Taka 991 crore project for land acquisition in Narayanganj and Chattogram. Under the project, the land acquisition for the Japanese economic zone is going on in Araihazar.
The day’s ECNEC meeting approved another project for constructing some 340 bridges on the upazila, union and village roads under 61 districts in all the eight divisions across the country to ensure better communication system involving an estimated cost of Taka 1,983.07 crore to come from the state exchequer.
The Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) under the Local Government Division will implement the project by June, 2023.
The main objective of the project is to improve the communication system across the country through building 340 bridges on upazila, union and village roads.
The Planning Minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the meeting asked the authorities concerned to give due emphasis on rail and waterways alongside the roads.
She also reiterated her plan for establishing an integrated communication system across the country comprising roads, railways, waterways and airways.
She asked the authorities concerned to prepare database of the handloom workers in the country and simplify the procedures of loan disbursement to them through allowing them opening of Taka 10 account.
The Prime Minister also asked the Ministries and the authorities concerned to conduct dredging in small rivers across the country to enhance navigability of those rivers.
She also underscored the need for protecting the ponds and water bodies before undertaking any project in the capital.
The other projects approved in the meeting are Providing running capital and modernization of hand looms for the hand loom workers with Taka 158 crore, Root and Tuber Crops Development Project with Taka 156.32 crore, Tulshiganga Chotojamuna, Chingri and Harabati River re-excavation project under Joypurhat district with Taka 123.47 crore, Dhaka City Neighborhood Upgrading Project with Taka 880.46 crore, Development and Renovation of temples and religious institutions with Taka 228.69 crore and formulation of profiles for the students at primary level with Taka 164.05 crore.