Ecnec clears exclusive zone for Chinese investors
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) today approved the proposed Chinese Economic and Industrial Zone to be set up on 774.25 acres of land at Anwara, Chittagong involving Tk 420.37 crore exclusively for Chinese investors.
The approval was given to the project, officially known as ‘Acquisition of Land for Development of Anwara-2 Economic Zone’, at the 7th Ecnec meeting of the current fiscal year held at the NEC conference room held with Ecnec chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said a total of seven projects were approved today with an overall outlay of Tk 5,039.79 crore.
"Of the total project cost, Tk 2,916.60 crore will come from the national exchequer while the rest of Tk 2,123.19 crore from project assistance, and five of the approved seven projects are new while two are revised ones,” he said.
The move for setting up exclusive Chinese Economic and Industrial Zone comes after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina proposed an industrial zone during her visit to China on June 6-11 last year. The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) also signed an agreement with the Commerce Ministry of China during the visit.
Beza under the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) will implement the project by June, 2016.
The planning minister said such special economic zones are there in 119 countries across the world with 2031 are in operation. Out of that number, 436 are in India, 460 in China and about 200 in the Philippines.
The project aims to create a congenial business environment for attracting Chinese companies there as well as creating scopes for jobs for ensuring sustainable economic development.
As per the deal signed with Chinese commerce ministry, Bangladesh will provide land to Chinese investors on a long-term lease basis and a firm nominated by China will set up the economic zone on the land.
Once the project is implemented, huge jobs will be created for Bangladeshis.
Today’s Ecnec meeting gave nod to another project titled ‘Greater Chittagong District Rural Infrastructural Development’ (Chittagong and Cox's Bazar district) with Tk 366 crore. Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) under the Local Government Division will implement the project by June 2019.
The project will cover 14 upazilas of Chittagong district and eight upazilas of Cox's Bazar district.
Under the project, there will be huge construction and development of upazilas, union and village roads alongside construction of bridges, culverts, establishment of growth centers.
Besides, the Ecnec meeting approved another project titled 'Extension of irrigation facilities by using surface water through 'double lifting technology' (3rd phase) with Tk 118.73 crore. Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) under the Ministry of Agriculture will implement the project by June 2020.
The project will be implemented at 79 upazilas under 26 districts of five divisions under which irrigation facilities will be extended to some 56,945 hectares of land by using surface water, aiming to produce some 1,70,835 metric tons of food grains.
The other projects approved at the meeting are Second Local Governance Support Project (LGSP-2) with Tk 3,940.91 crore (1st revised), Bongaon-Nunni-Hatipagar road widening and strengthening project with Tk 63.66 crore, Postal transport system strengthening project with Tk 78.33 crore and establishment of Chancery complex at Islamabad in Pakistan (1st revised) with Tk 51.79 crore.
Ministers and state ministers attended the meeting. Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned were present.