The planning ministry has convened another Ecnec meeting today where nearly two dozen projects would be placed, setting a rare example of holding two such meetings in a week.
With general elections knocking on the door, most of the projects are planned for rural and district roads, improvement of electricity distribution system and development in city corporations.
The ministry has already issued a letter for today's meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) to the officials concerned.
Some 19 projects worth around Tk 20,000 crore are likely to be placed in the meeting, officials said.
An Ecnec meeting held on Tuesday approved 20 projects involving Tk 32,525 crore.
Usually the Ecnec meeting is held on Tuesday. If the prime minister is abroad or otherwise busy, the meeting does not take place. In case of emergency projects, an extra meeting is held. If necessary, a meeting would be held every day for the sake of the upcoming national polls, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said while replying to queries from reporters after the Ecnec meeting on Tuesday.
He said they expect the GDP growth rate to hit 8.20 percent to 8.25 percent this fiscal year.
During the election, the private sector may reduce investment and prefer observing the situation for two to three months, the minister said. “The number of projects has been increased to compensate the slow pace of growth during the time.”
“If the private sector lags behind, the government will have to take the driving seat and deliver. Now we don't need to wait for Tuesday.” He also said the Ecnec meeting would be held before and after the announcement of the election schedule as a routine work.
Earlier in August, Kamal in a meeting directed all secretaries to get their projects approved by September, as the election-time government—if it is formed— will do only routine work and it cannot take any policy decision.
In today's Ecnec meeting, a project will be placed for land acquisition to elevate the Faridpur-Bhanga-Barishal-Patuakhali-Kuakata highway into a four-lane one. Another project is on the development of Bairagir Pool (Barishal)-Tumchar-Baufal (Patuakhali) district highway.
One is on the development of Nandigram (Omarpur)-Akkelpur (Gopinathpur) district highway and Nandigram to Raninagar district highway.
Two more will be placed for the development of rural infrastructure in Jashore, Khulna, Bagerhat and Satkhira districts.
A project is going to be placed for the improvement of the electricity distribution system in Chattogram. Another project is for the improvement of a road network and construction of bus terminals in different wards of Chattogram City Corporation.
Another project involved developing the lake around the well-off Gulshan neighbourhood.