Thursday, 24 May, 2018

ECNEC likely to approve Tk 665cr project for MPs today

Published on: 10:14 am - Wednesday | September 13, 2017

A project for members of Parliament, involving Tk 665.61 crore, is to be approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today.

Under the project, Tk 1 core will be allocated for each upazila, totalling Tk 491 crore for 491 upazilas. The aim is to develop mosques, temples, pagodas, graveyards, cremation grounds and playgrounds.

The local government engineering department (LGED) will implement the project as per the direction of the local MP.

Planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the MPs will get the funds directly. But they will have to give priority to develop mosques, temples, pagodas, graveyards, cremation grounds and playgrounds in their respective areas.

He also said there is no possibility of misuse of funds as local people will be involved in selecting sites for the development. However, he did not rule out the possibility of misuse of funds by local public representatives like union parishad member and chairmen.

Kamal further said they will closely monitor each project to avoid any wrongdoing.

Tk 109 crore will be provided as block allocation to provide more than one core taka as per required. The project will be implemented by June 2020.

According to Planning Commi-ssion officials, no feasibility study has been conducted, though it is mandatory for any project involving more than Tk 25 crore.

Local government expert Prof Tofail Ahmed said: “I don’t want to say that these are election projects. However, it is likely that they are indirectly aimed at motivating voters before the next election. The government can implement any politically motivated project to fulfil its political commitment. The quality of these projects is important. For this, the funds have to be utilised properly.”

He also said accurate technical planning is required to implement rural infrastructure improvement projects, otherwise the project funds will be plundered. He expressed apprehension that the implementing agency, namely the LGED, is not independent and thus the projects could be influenced by local lawmakers.

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