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MPs get Tk 20cr allocation each

30ECNEC Okays Tk 6,076cr rural dev project

Members of Parliament, having constituencies outside city corporation areas will get an allocation of Tk 20 crore each, to be used through the ministry of LGRD and Cooperatives, for infrastructure development in their locality.
A project titled “Rural Infrastructure Development Project on Priority Basis – II” worth Tk 6,076 crore was endorsed by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) at a meeting held on Tuesday. The meeting held at the NEC conference room at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital was presided over by ECNEC Chairman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Talking about the “Rural Infrastructure Development Project on Priority Basis” project, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the allocation was for 284 members of the 10th Parliament. MPs and lawmakers from city corporation areas will not receive this allocation as the project is meant specifically for rural infrastructure development. The MPs will be able to use this fund till the end of the current government tenure.
Lawmakers, during the tenure of the previous AL-led Grand Alliance government, had received allocation of Tk 15 crore on an average for development work.
Briefing reporters on the outcome of the meeting, the planning minister also said a total of eight development projects at a cost of Tk 10,553 crore were approved at the meeting.
“Of the total outlay, Tk 8,710 crore will come from the government exchequer, Tk 395 from implementing entities and the remaining Tk 1,448 crore from project assistance,” he said.
The planning minister said there was no direct financial involvement of the MPs in development projects as they did not get allocations themselves. “However, they can undertake projects as per the need in their constituencies through the Local  Government Engineering Department (LGED) and implement the projects,” the minister added.
The MPs do not spend money directly, but rather ask different departments to undertake necessary projects in their constituencies, he said.
“The projects have been undertaken to make rural access easier through developing rural transport infrastructure, facilitating agricultural production and ensuring fair prices through development of physical facilities at important markets,” Kamal said, adding that the project would create short and long-term employment opportunities for the rural poor.
The MPs concerned will need to submit a list of schemes on priority basis after being invited by the LGRD & Co-operatives ministry. The rural infrastructure project has been undertaken to meet the priority of rural development of the elected government.
According to the Detailed Project Plan (DPP), the project has been prepared in line with the strategy for rural infrastructure improvement. There is also a provision in the new project to bring about an improvement in rural roads, rural markets, boat landing ghats and tree plantations as there has been a huge demand from the public for rural
infrastructure development.
The proposed developmental activities will improve rural access within the project area and the markets, thereby facilitating agricultural production, generating employment and lead to direct alleviation of poverty for the rural poor.
The project targets to improve 8069.53 km of rural roads (465.91 km of upazila roads, 1430.07 km of union roads and 6173.55 km of village roads) transport network, construction of 15363.71 m bridge/culvert, maintenance of 4596.91 km village roads, development of 111 rural markets and 64 boat landing ghats. Improving road safety conditions, reducing transport costs and creating marketing facilities are also on the list of desired outcomes.
The meeting also approved two projects titled ‘Construction of 60 BoPs for BGB in border areas’ and ‘Border management equipment for Border Guard Bangladesh (1st revised)’ with an overall outlay of Tk 131 crore to enhance the capacity of BGB to check intrusion of Rohingyas as well as to check human trafficking and smuggling of various drugs including Yaba through the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.
Procurement of six new ships (three new oil tankers each having 39,000 DWT and 3 new bulk carriers) with a total outlay of Tk 1,843.58 crore was also approved during the meeting. Bangladesh Shipping Corporation under the Shipping Ministry will implement the project by 2018. Of the total project cost, Tk 395.26 crore will come from the organisation’s own funds, while the remaining amount of Tk 1448.32 crore will be funded by the China Exim Bank.
Other approved projects include construction of 19 sophisticated arsenals for Bangladesh Police involving Tk 62 crore; construction of long bridges on upazila and union roads (2nd revised) with Tk 2,288.30 crore, construction of ‘B’ class station at Kaliakoir between Mirzapur and Mouchak station for hi-tech park with Tk 48.59 crore and improvement of electric and mechanical system of Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban with Tk 103.52 crore.