ECNEC approves Tk 246.28cr Hilsha development project


Dhaka, Sept 22: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved five projects involving Tk 1,266 crore, including a Tk 246-crore one to develop hilsa resources in the country.

The approval came from the 9th Ecnec meeting of the current fiscal year, held virtually with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The Prime Minister, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal and Planning Minister MA Mannan joined the meeting from Ganobhaban through a videoconference, while other Ecnec members were connected from NEC Bhaban.

“In today’s meeting, we placed five projects of five ministries. Of them, five are completely fresh projects. A total of Tk 1,266.13 crore will be spent on the five projects and the entire fund will be borne from the state coffer,” said minister Mannan at a press briefing.

The Department of Fisheries of the Ministry of the Fisheries and Livestock will implement the project titled ‘Hilsa Resources Development and Management’ by June 2024 at a cost of Tk 246.28 crore.

The project was taken aiming to protect mother hilsa and Jatka (hilsa fry less than 9-inch long) to boost up the production of hilsa in the country by scope of alternative income sources for some 30,000 fisher families dependent on catching Jatka and mother hilsa.

The major project operations include running and management of six sanctuaries, creating a scope of alternative employments for some 30,000 fisher families, providing valid nets to 10,000 fishers, and providing training to 18,000 over alternative jobs.

About another new project titled ‘Establishment of 25-bed Shanti Nibash in 8 Government Shishu Paribars’ involved spending Tk 73.99 crore, Mannan said the eight 25-bed Shanti Nibash (retirement homes or old age’s home) will be constructed to accommodate the neglected elderly people beside the children.

The Shanti Nibash will be constructed in Tungipara of Gopalganj, Lalmonirhat Sadar, Shambhuganj in Mymensingh, Sunamganj Sadar, Maijdee in Noakhali, Baya in Rajshahi, Maheshwarpasha in Khulna and Sagardi in Barishal to pave the way for coexistence of both elderly people and children.

The Department of Social Services under the Ministry of Social Welfare will executive the project by June 2022.

The two other new projects are ‘Upgrading Digpait-Sarishabari-Tarakandi Road of Jamalpur into proper standard and width’ project involving Tk 376.56 crore; ‘Construction of BGB’s 73 composites/ modern observation posts (BOP) in border areas’ project with Tk 233.52 crore; and ‘Establishment of 25-bed Shanti Nibash in 8 Government Shishu Paribars’ project involving Tk 73.99 crore.

The lone revised project is ‘Establishment of 40 Technical Training Centres in 40 upazilas and Institute of Marine Technology in Chattogram’ (1st revised) project with an additional cost of Tk 335.78 crore.

In the revision, both the cost and time of the project were extended. The original cost was Tk 1,331.30 crore, which has been raised to Tk 1667.08 crore in the revised project, according to the project factsheets provided by the Planning Commission.

The project period was extended to June 2022 instead of June 2020.