The Financial Express

High-level meet to review progress of mega projects

Muhith to sit with implementing agencies on Sept 13

| Updated: October 24, 2017 16:35:41

Artist's view of Rooppur nuclear power plant. - Collected Artist's view of Rooppur nuclear power plant. - Collected

Nearly a dozen cost-intensive mega projects are up for a review for accelerating their execution, as the government nears end of its present term.


A high-level meeting scheduled for Wednesday next will conduct a close scrutiny of the project-implementation status and, if necessary, take measures to expedite the process of their execution.


Finance Minister AMA Muhith will sit with the implementing agencies and their line ministries to expedite project execution as the ruling Awami League-led administration is now fairly close to its current stint, they said.


Economic Relations Division (ERD) officials said they would arrange the meeting at the Ministry of Finance where the finance minister will ask the project-implementing agencies and their line ministries about the progress on the major uplift schemes meant for upgrading the country's status.


On the reappraisal list are the Russian-supported US$14.14 billion Rooppur nuclear power plant, Japanese-funded $4.5 billion Matarbari coal-fired power plant and $2.74 billion Uttara-Motijheel metro-rail project, China-supported $4.37 billion Padma Bridge rail link, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-supported $2.25 billion Dohazari-Cox's Bazar-Gundhum railway projects.


"The project review will be held Wednesday. The finance minister will attend the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to evaluate their progress so that the remaining works are expedited," ERD Additional Secretary Farida Nasreen told the FE.


She said some 13-14 mega-projects, including five fast-track ones, would be in for a review at the meeting since their progress is very crucial for the transformation of the country.


"In addition to the five fast-track projects, we have also selected 8-9 other foreign-aided projects on the basis of higher fund allocations and priority of the government," Mrs Nasreen said.


Meanwhile, the government has listed 10 projects as "fast-track" ones which are being reviewed closely by the prime minister herself for their timely implementation.


"We hope the review of the projects by the finance minister will give a signal to the executing agencies further about the necessity and importance of their execution in time," the ERD Additional Secretary said.


They hope the review meeting will also try to eliminate obstacles to project execution.


Another ERD official said usually the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) reviews the 10 fast-track projects regularly. Now, the ERD will review the foreign-funded mega-projects to accelerate their execution, he added.


He said they would also review China-funded $1.05 billion Karnaphuli tunnel and $617 million Single-point Mooring (oil supply pipeline in deep sea) project, India-supported $475 million Khulna-Mongla railway project, ADB-supported $383 million Joydevpur-Elenga 4-lane road upgrading project.


Over the last few years, the government has taken up development projects worth billions of dollar to improve the country's infrastructures on a par with the vision for Bangladesh's graduation to a middle-income and developed country from its LDC status.


It has borrowed substantial volume funds from different multilateral and bilateral development financiers, including the World Bank, the ADB, Japan, China and India, to bankroll the uplift projects.


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