The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved eight development projects, including one to strengthen climate and disaster resilience in the coastal towns, with a projected outlay of Tk 2580-crore at this stage.
The approval came from the Ecnec meeting presided over by Ecnec chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the NEC conference room here in the city.
“Today a total of eight projects including three revised ones were approved. The total estimated cost of the projects is Tk 4,826.21 crore (only additional costs of revised ones were counted here),” said a Planning Minister MA Mannan while briefing reporters after the meeting.
Read more: Ecnec nods 6 projects worth Tk 7,018 crore
The largest project in terms of cost is the ‘Costal Towns Climate Resilience Project (CTCRP),’ which will be implemented in 22 municipalities of 10 districts under three divisions by June 2029.
According to the project factsheet, the objective of the project is to strengthen climate and disaster resilience of selected vulnerable coastal cities, as well as to improve the quality of life of women and poor people.
Of the project cost, Tk 430 crore will be drawn from the government’s fund, while Tk 2,150 crore will come from Asian Development Bank (ADB) as project loan.
Talking about inflation, the Planning Minister said the overall inflation trend is now declining, while the wage index is on the uptrend. "Although it's not very much satisfactory, it's a good sign," he added.
The inflation rate would continue to come down till February next, but the declining trend might slow down in March next, said Mannan.
He said Bangladesh is likely to witness good yielding of Amar crops this time, which would be good news to rein the inflation.
Talking about the reserve of foreign currency, the Minister said the current account has reached a balanced situation thanks to steps taken by the government and the central bank (to control imports and others) with the rise of remittance inflow and export.
State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said that the remittance inflow during the July-October period of the current fiscal year (FY23) totaled US$ 7.2 billion, which is higher than the corresponding period of the last fiscal year (FY22).
The four other fresh projects are ‘Upgrading 4 district highways into due standard and width under Cumilla Road Division’ project involving with an estimated cost of Tk 1,023.52 crore; ‘Construction of Rabnabad Bridge over the Rabnabad River on the 70th kilometer of the Lebukhali-Baufal-Golachipa-Amragachia District Highway’ with Tk 521.26 crore; ‘Transport Master Plan and Preliminary Feasibility Study for Urban Metro Rail Transit Construction of Chattogram Metropolitan Area (CMA)’ with Tk 70.63 crore; and ‘Strengthening nutrition and food security through agricultural development’ with Tk 148.81 crore.
Among the three revised projects, the cost of ‘Modernization of Jail security in Dhaka, Mymensingh and Chattogram Divisions’ (1st revised) project was raised to 49.98 crore from Tk 32 crore, but stip[ulated time has already been extended five times.
Two other revised projects are ‘Installation of third submarine cable for expanding international telecommunication system in Bangladesh (1st revised)’ project with an additional cost of Tk 362.07 crore (now cost Tk 1,055.24 crore) and ‘National information and communication technology development (Info Sarker, third phase) (3rd revised)’ project with an additional cost of Tk 101.94 crore (now cost Tk 2141.42 crore).