Thursday 18, August 2022

Mega projects won't adverse impact on economy: PM

News Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday ruled out any adverse impact on the country’s economy and foreign exchange reserves due to the implementation of the mega projects as these had been undertaken following proper assessments.

“Proper financial and economic analyses were done before the mega projects were taken by the present government. So, there is no possibility of adverse impact caused by the execution of these projects,” she told the Parliament.

The premier was replying to a starred question from Jatiya Party lawmaker Fakhrul Imam (Mymensingh-8).

Noting that most of the mega projects were undertaken with foreign loans or grants, she said these are soft loans with comparatively very low interest rate, long repayment tenure and long grace period.

Moreover, no major complexity was noticed in the case of releasing the loan funds by the development agencies, said Sheikh Hasina.

She mentioned details about the implementation progress and current status of 16 mega projects including Padma Multipurpose Bridge Construction Project, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant and Rampal 1320-megawatt friendship super thermal power project.

The other projects include Matarbari 1200-MW ultra super critical coal-fired power project, Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development, LNG Terminal Construction and Gas Pipeline Installation Project, Payra Deep Sea Port, Padma Bridge Rail Link Project, and Construction of Single Line Dual Gauge Track from Dohajari to Cox’s Bazar via Ramu, from Ramu to Gundum, close to Myanmar.

The remaining mega projects are Payra Thermal Power Plant, Construction of Broad-gauge rail line from Bhanga Junction (Faridpur) to Payra port and Kuakata via Barishal, Cox’s Bazar Airport Development Project, Establishment of Economic Zones, Ashrayan-2 Project, Multi-lane road tunnel under Karnaphuli River and SASEC Dhaka-Sylhet Corridor Road Development Project.

PM Sheikh Hasina said huge employments have been generated and many backward and forward linkage industries and businesses have developed during the implementation of the projects.

“So, actually the country’s progress is getting accelerated directly instead of getting hindered through the projects,” she said.

“Besides, since the projects (except Padma Multipurpose Bridge Construction and Payra Deep Sea Port Project) are getting finance from foreign sources, the project related import cost would not put any adverse impact on the reserves of foreign currencies in the country,” PM said.

The projects are being undertaken as per the need to continue the trend of the country’s development in economic, social and all other sectors, she went on.

Unscrupulous persons are on efforts to increase illegal stocks and prices of essentials:

In reply to another question from Treasury bench member AKM Rahmatullah (Dhaka-11), the prime minister said some unscrupulous individuals are making efforts to increase illegal stocks and prices of essential goods in the country taking the advantage of global inflation caused by the war and Covid-19 pandemic.

She said the production and supply of essential items including foods has declined across the world due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the Russia-Ukraine war has caused global inflation.

PM said the war deteriorated production and supply systems resulting in the global inflation and price-hike of essential goods. Bangladesh is no exception.

But it has been possible to increase the production and continue the supply of goods in Bangladesh thanks to timely steps taken by the government, she said.

“The unfortunate matter is that some unscrupulous persons are making efforts to enhance the illegal stocks and prices of daily essentials in the country taking this advantage,” PM said.

She, however, said the government has already taken a good number of measures in order to keep price-hike, illegal hoarding and market system of daily essentials under control.

Responding to a question from Awami League lawmaker Nur Uddin Chowdhary Nayan (Laxmipur-2), Sheikh Hasina said the government has a plan to construct an 85-km inner circular road in a bid to ease the traffic congestion in the capital.

Enactment of law, formation of authority for universal pension scheme underway:

In reply to a question from AL lawmaker Md Mamunur Rashid Kiron (Noakhali-3), the PM said the enactment of a law related to the universal pension scheme and formation of an authority under the law are under process.

She said the government has taken the initiative for formation of the universal pension scheme with a view to ensuring the financial projection for the elderly people of the country by bringing them under a sustainable and organized social safety structure.

Remittance inflow starts returning to pre-Covid normal trend:

Answering a question from Jatiya Party lawmaker Rustum Ali Faraji, the PM said the inflow of remittance started returning to the normal trend of the pre-Covid situation.

She said the inflow of remittance declined slightly to US$ 17.30 billion in the 10 months from July to April in the 2021-2022 fiscal, which is 16.25 per cent less compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year.

She said the average inflow of remittance was US$ 13.42 billion in the first months of 2019-20, 2018-2019 and 2017-2018 fiscals. So, it is seen that the amount of remittance received in the first ten month of the current fiscal year is 28.91 per cent higher than the average inflow of remittance received in the same period in the pre-Covid three fiscal years, she added.

So, it can be said that the inflow of remittance has not dipped, rather the inflow started returning to the normal trend of the pre-Covid period.


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