The government approved the establishment of 12 IT and hi-tech parks in different districts at a cost of Tk 1,796.40 crore, to move closer to a digital economy.
In a meeting yesterday, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the project, where Tk 1,544 crore will come in the form of credit from India and the government will bear the rest of the amount. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting at the NEC conference room at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.
The IT and hi-tech parks will be built in Khulna, Barisal, Rangpur, Natore, Chittagong, Comilla, Cox's Bazar, Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Gopalganj, Dhaka and Sylhet under the project 'Establishing IT Park/High-Tech Park at District Level (12 Districts)'.
The project will be implemented from July 2017 till June 2020, according to a statement of the ICT division.
A senior official related to the project said they are in the process of selecting lands in the districts for the parks.
The project will further strengthen the endeavours of the government to build a knowledge-based society by 2021, said Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for ICT.
“It will boost our initiative to earn $5 billion from the ICT sector by generating employment for 20 lakh youths.”
The government is also setting up the Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park in Jessore, which will be launched by June.
Furthermore, it is establishing the Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City -- the country's first full-fledged special economic zone for IT/ IT-enabled services and hi-tech industries -- at Kaliakoir, Gazipur.
Earlier, the government formed the Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority in 2010 to develop the ICT industry through creation, management, operation and development of hi-tech parks.
Palak said these initiatives will help generate employment in the sector.