Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday asked the authorities concerned for revising the rate schedules of different works of development projects in line with the changing prices of construction materials.
The Premier also directed the authorities concerned to consider the latest exchange rate of US dollars before preparing the drafts of the development projects as the exchange rate of US dollars often influence the overall expenditure of the projects, reports BSS.
The Prime Minister gave such directives while chairing the 1st meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) of this fiscal year (FY24) held on Tuesday at the NEC Conference room in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said that the Prime Minister in the meeting noted that the prices of construction materials like iron, cement, stones and bricks are witnessing an uptrend in the market, for which the prices of such items often go up during the implementation period compared to the exact time of framing the rate schedule of development projects.
Acknowledging the facts, Mannan said that the Premier had noted that this could happen in the growing global economy.
He said that Sheikh Hasina, in this regard, asked the authorities concerned, including the Ministry of Finance, to revise the rate schedules as per the necessity and changing of prices of construction materials.
Noting that the exchange rate of US dollars also influences the overall expenditure of the development schemes, the Prime Minister also suggested accommodating the latest exchange rate before finalizing the overall expenditure or financial estimation of the projects.
"The Prime Minister has clearly directed the Ministry of Finance and other concerned agencies to address these issues," added Mannan.
The Planning Minister said that the Prime Minister has directed the Ministry of Law to take necessary steps for disposing of tax related pending cases with the Supreme Court and thus realizing taxes to enrich the state coffer.
Referring to a project for constructing Urirchar-Noakhali Cross Dam, Mannan said that the Prime Minister strongly asked the Ministry of Water Resources to remain cautious while dealing with the project since coastal areas are involved in it.
She cautioned that the adjacent islands, areas and channels should not be disturbed during the implementation of this project.
Directing the authorities concerned to take necessary steps for preserving the seasonal vegetables and fruits, the Prime Minister noted that countries like Thailand, Vietnam have become successful in the business and export of fruits after preserving and bottling those. Such process can also be followed in Bangladesh, she added.
In order to avoid duplication of projects in the same area, the Premier asked the authorities concerned to become more cautious and thus work in an integrated manner. "If there is overlapping, then there can be misuse of funds," Mannan said quoting the Prime Minister as saying.
Referring to the 'Amar Gram-Amar Shohor' project, Mannan said Sheikh Hasina said that this is a pilot project and its experiments could be useful in the future.
But, she said no further projects would be taken in future under the same title while all concerned agencies should work in an integrated manner.
The Planning Minister said that in the ECNEC meeting, the Prime Minister was apprised of the findings of two BBS surveys on Literacy Assessment and ICT Use and thus expressed her satisfaction over the results.
Planning Division Secretary Satyajit Karmakar said that the 'Amar Gram Amar Shohor' project has been taken on a pilot basis based on the findings of a study.