The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday cleared nine projects with an estimated total cost of Tk 24,113.27 crore, including Tk 17,777-crore Matarbari Port Development Project taken to enhance the country’s cargo handling capacity through the port.
The approval came from the weekly Ecnec meeting held at the NEC conference room with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
“Today’s Ecnec meeting approved nine projects involving a total of Tk 24,113.27 crore,” said Planning Minister MA Mannan while briefing reporters after the meeting.
Of the total cost, the Tk 6,151.26 crore will be borne by the state coffer, while Tk 2,213.25 crore will come from the own funds of the organisations concerned and the rest of Tk 15,748.76 crore as project assistance, he said.
Of the approved nine projects, seven are fresh and two others are revised ones.
Talking about the Matarbari Port Development Project, the Planning Minister said the project will be implemented by December 2026 at a cost of Tk 17,777.16 crore aiming to enhance the cargo handling capacity of Bangladesh and thus fulfill the demand of international trade as well as facilitate quicker port services with neighbouring countries.
He said the Matarbari seaport will be the country’s 4th seaport after Chattogram, Mongla and Payra.
Of the project cost, Tk 2,671.15 crore will come from the national exchequer, while Tk 2,213.24 crore from the Chattogram Port Authority and the rest of Tk 12,892.76 crore from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said Mannan.
The Matarbari port will reduce the pressure on the Chattogram Port alongside meeting the growing demand of the country’s import and export activities, said sources at the Planning Commission.
The Matarbari Port will have two separate large terminals having a 460-metre length and 300-metre width.
The main project operations include construction of a multipurpose terminal, a container terminal and 26.7-km link road, and procurement of necessary cargo-handling equipment.
Disclosing the latest progress of the implementation of the Annual Development Programme (ADP), the Planning Minister said the implementation rate in the first eight months (July-February) of the current fiscal year is 37.09 percent, which was slightly lower than 39.13 percent during the same period of the previous fiscal year of 2018-19.
However, the implementing agencies could spend Tk 79,785.86 crore in the eight months of the 2019-20 fiscal year, which is higher than Tk 70,771.78 crore expenditures during the same period of the previous fiscal year.
Talking about the construction of a 1690-metre bridge over the Payra River on the Kachua-Betagi-Patuakhali-Lohalia-Kalaiya road with Tk 1,042.28 crore, Mannan said a 4th grader student of Patuakhali Govt Jubilee High School earlier wrote a letter to the Prime Minister asking for constructing a bridge there.
The other approved projects include Dhaka Sanitation Improvement Project involving Tk 3,855.60 crore, Protecting Pakerdaha under Madarganj upazila in Jamalpur and Jamthol areas under Sariakandi upazila in Bogra from the erosion the Jamuna River with Tk 584.72 crore, Lebukhali-Rampur-Mirzaganj link road with Tk 419.89 crore, Fisheries Development at the CHT region with Tk 118.28 crore and Modernization of the firing range of Special Security Force (SSF) with Tk 51.54 crore.
The two revised projects approved at the meeting are Nutrition Development through producing fruits round the year (2nd revised) with an additional cost of Tk 161.05 crore and Construction of the headquarter of NSI (2nd revised) with an additional cost of Tk 102.75 crore.