Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today told the Parliament that implementation of the mega projects won’t be affected as those were taken through proper assessments.
“There is no possibility of adverse impact on the execution of mega projects as appropriate financial and economic analyses were carried out before taking those. And this is why it would be possible to continue the projects,” she said on 15 June 2022.
The Premier made this remark while replying to a starred question of Jatiya Party lawmaker Fakhrul Imam from Mymensingh-8.
Sheikh Hasina said most of the mega projects are being implemented involving the foreign loans or grants, which are soft loans with comparatively very low interest rate and long repayment tenure with long grace period.
Moreover, no major complexity was noticed in the case of releasing the loan funds by the development agencies, she added.
The Prime Minister elaborated in 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 are Matarbari 1200-megawatt 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 include 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.
She mentioned that huge employment opportunities have been generated along with many backward and forward linkage industries and businesses during the implementation of the projects.
She added “So, actually the country’s progress is getting accelerated directly instead of getting hindered through the projects.”
Sheikh Hasina went on saying that “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 balance of foreign currencies in the country.”
She 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.
Responding to a question from Awami League lawmaker Md. Mamunur Rashid Kiron from Noakhali-3, the Prime Minister 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.
Answering to another question from treasury bench lawmaker AKM Rahmatullah from Dhaka-11, the Premier 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 Russia-Ukraine war and Covid-19 pandemic.
She said the production and supply of essential items including foods has declined across the world due to the pandemic, while the Russia-Ukraine war has caused global inflation.
Sheikh Hasina said the war deteriorated production and supply systems resulting in the global inflation and price-hike of essential goods, and 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 noted.
She added “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.”
Sheikh Hasina, 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.
In reply to a question from Jatiya Party lawmaker Rustum Ali Faraji from Pirojpur-3 constituency, the Premier 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 fiscal 2021-2022, which is 16.25 percent less compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year.
She continued the average inflow of remittance was $ 13.42 billion in the first months of fiscal years 2019-20, 2018-2019 and 2017-2018. So, it is seen that the amount of remittance received in the first ten month of the current fiscal year is 28.91 percent higher than the average inflow of remittance received in the same period in the pre-Covid three fiscal years, she added.
She said that so, it can be said that the inflow of remittance has not dipped down; rather the remittance inflow started returning to the normal trend of the pre-Covid period.
Answering another question from Awami League lawmaker Nur Uddin Chowdhary Nayan from Laxmipur-2, the leader of the Parliament said the government has a plan to construct a 85-km inner circular road to ease the traffic congestion in the capital.