PM asks state firms to be self-reliant  

Staff Correspondent | Published: 15:23, May 04,2021 | Updated: 23:46, May 04,2021


Prime minister Sheikh Hasina

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday asked the state-owned commercial companies to become self-reliant and implement development projects with own fund.

While reviewing a development project of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited in a meeting of the executive committee of the National Economic Council, the PM wanted to know how long the government should provide the state-owned commercial entities with funds to operate.

The BTCL’s proposal to establish a telecommunication network in economic zones (first phase) from January 21 to June 2023 at Tk 95.12 crore was approved in the day’s ECNEC meeting held after a gap of two months.

The PM who presided over the meeting virtually from the Ganabhaban expressed disappointment in the delay in establishing a super specialised hospital under Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University while extending the implementation period of the project till June 2022 from the previous deadline of December 2020.

Planning minister MA Mannan disclosed the PM’s directives in a post-ECNEC virtual briefing.

The PM noted that funding the development projects of the state-owned companies was not economically acceptable, said Mannan.

The PM stressed that the companies should earn money before spending it in viable ways.

Responding to a question, the planning minister said that the state-owned companies meant commercial banks and insurance, telecom and aviation businesses.

He noted that these state-owned commercial ventures had been floated with sufficient capital.

‘It is the responsibility of the company directors to run their ventures independently,’ he said.

Eight more project proposals were approved by the ECNEC on the day.

A proposal from the Roads and Highways Department was approved to construct of a bridge over the River Panguchi from February 2021 to June 2025 at a cost of Tk 912 crore, Tk 399 crore of which would be taken from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

The National Sports Council will build a stadium called Sheikh Russel Mini Stadium in each of all upazilas under a project to be implemented at a cost of Tk 1,649.33 crore from May 2021 to June 2025.

The Department of Public Libraries will construct a multi-storey building in the capital at a cost of Tk 524. 25 crore from May 2021 to June 2024.

The ECNEC approved two projects proposed by the Local Government Engineering Department.

One is to develop roads and bridges in Rangamati at a cost of Tk 338 crore by 2024 and the other is a rural infrastructure development project covering Cumilla and Brahmanbaria at a cost of Tk 2,500 croe.

Two more projects — one aimed at the protection from floods in Patia of Chattogram at a cost of Tk 1,158 crore and the other to expand and rehabilitate the Teesta Irrigation Project — under two separate proposals from the Water Development Board were approved.

The ECNEC also approved a project from the Bangladesh Power Development Board for the modernisation and strengthening of the electricity network in Khulna division at a cost of Tk 2,076 crore, of which Asian Development Bank would provede Tk 1,700 crore in credit.

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