May 26, 2024

BSS, DHAKA: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked the authorities concerned to give utmost importance to project selection and processing alongside speedy completion of the ongoing projects. She also directed undertaking projects in public welfare aiming to get good returns immediately after completion of those. The Prime Minister gave the directives while chairing the 1st meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) under the tenure of the new government at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

The premier gave directives for implementing quickly the projects which are nearing completion by ensuring necessary fund and thereafter conducting impact analysis of those to see how the target groups are benefitted as well as to judge the overall benefits.

For this, the Prime Minister gave the responsibility to the Cabinet Secretary to specify the project selection process considering the aspect of socio-economic development, and people’s welfare.

The Cabinet Secretary would sit with the concerned ministries and divisions and direct them to speedily implement the projects which are nearing completion.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Division Senior Secretary Satyajit Karmakar said that the day’s meeting approved a total of nine projects with an overall estimated cost of Taka 3,354 crore.

Satyajit said while chairing the first ECNEC meeting of the new government, the Prime Minister gave a set of directives that also include renewing her previous call not to keep any land fallow.

Regarding the issue of ensuring smooth disbursement of foreign assistance to reduce the burden on the pipeline of foreign support, the premier stressed on taking concerted steps so that foreign loans and grants are disbursed without any hassle and those do not remain in the pipeline.

In this regard, Satyajit said the French government has already committed to provide $1.1 billion support to Bangladesh for tackling climate change impacts alongside the commitments from other development partners like the World Bank and the ADB.

He said the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, as the chair of a committee, has already been given the task to look after such issues and he would take immediate steps in this regard. “Hopefully, there will be visible progress in this regard,” added Satyajit.

He said the Prime Minister also directed the concerned authorities to utilize the optimum potentials and capacity of the local industries to manufacture the necessary equipments suitable for the development projects.

Regarding the nearly Taka 300 crore project for generating employments through imparting freelancing training to the educated job-seeking youths across some 48 districts of the country, Planning Commission Member Abdul Baki said the Prime Minister termed freelancing as a global issue and suggested for updating the curriculum in line with the global demand.

The premier also underscored the need for making the assessment process fine to become globally certified and facilitating the grants to go directly to the accounts of the beneficiaries.

Statistics and Informatics Division Secretary Dr Shahnaz Arefin said they are working on giving the quarterly GDP alongside revealing regularly the Monthly Consumer Price (CPI) index.

Secretary of the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) Abul Kashem Md Mohiuddin said that the Premier put utmost importance on in-depth monitoring and impact analysis of projects.

“From now on, we’ll look into the matter seriously,” he added.

The approved projects in the meeting are: establishment of Super Specialized Hospital (2nd revised) under BSMMU with an additional cost of Taka 151.39 crore; Extension of the operations of PDBF, 2nd phase, with Taka 529.61 crore; Important rural infrastructures development of Dhaka district with Taka 1,123.40 crore; Climate Resilient Infrastructure Mainstreaming Project (CRIMP) (1st revised) with an additional cost of Taka 290.65 crore; Integrating Climate Change Adaptation into Sustainable Development Pathways of Bangladesh with Taka 60.99 crore; Smart prepaid metering (2nd phase) for West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited areas with Taka 761.31 crore; Construction of new buildings of ACC divisional offices of Khulna, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Barishal and Sylhet and upward extension of Mymensingh divisional office with Taka 133.48 crore; and Urban Resilience Project (URP): Project Coordination and Monitoring Unit (PCMU), 4th revised with an additional cost of Taka 3.31 crore.

Besides, the meeting extended the timeframe for Secondary Education Sector Investment Programme, 3rd revised till December 2024.

Ministers and state ministers attended the meeting while Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned were present.

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