The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved a total of four projects involving an overall estimated cost of Tk 5.34 billion.
The approval came from a virtual ECNEC meeting held with its Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal and Planning Minister MA Mannan joined the meeting virtually from Ganobhaban. Other ministers and concerened officials joined the meeting from the NEC Conference room in the city.
Of the total project cost, Tk 4.41 billion will come from GoB fund, while the rest Tk 934 million will come as project assistance, the planning minister informed in a post-meeting press briefing.
Of the approved four projects, one is new while three others are revised projects.
The approved projects included a new scheme for conservation and development of local species of fish and snails estimated cost of which is Tk 2.02 billion.
Mannan said the main objectives of the project are to protect, preserve and thus boost the production of local fish species alongside snails.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was highly excited over the incorporation of snails in this project as she mentioned that slacked lime (Chun) is prepared from snail shells which is usually consumed with betel leaf and also is a source of calcium.Mannan said the premier was also optimistic about the cultivation of oysters as pearls are being extracted from those.
“The larger and ultimate goal of the government is to preserve the local species,” he added.
The Department of Fisheries under the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock will implement the project by June 2024 at some 49 upazilas under 10 districts of the South-Western region of the country.
The main project objectives include raising the internal water bodies fish production of those areas to 4.46 lakh metric tons from 3.83 lakh metric tons, holding some 392 local fish species farming exhibitions alongside 15 snail exhibitions, holding some 110 paddy field fish farming demonstrations alongside 392 fish farming demonstrations at pans and capacity development of some 1,08,847 beneficiaries.
Planning Commission member Md Zakir Hossain Akand said once the project is implemented, it would help boost the production of snails in the country alongside saving the sweet water fishes from extinction. He informed that this is for the first time a project has been undertaken incorporating snails.
He mentioned that fish sanctuaries would be created under the project while some pilot projects would also be undertaken under this project.
Regarding the approval of the Urban Resilience Project (URP): RAJUK portion, 1st revised with an additional cost of Tk 1.07 billion, the planning minister said a map will be prepared for Dhaka under the project through which it would be possible to know which areas are more prone to disasters like earthquakes.
He said with the latest revision, the capacity of RAJUK would be further enhanced alongside others concerned so that any possible earthquake could be faced in a much better way.
About the 1st revision of the Infrastructural Development of Rajshahi University with an additional cost of Tk 1.47 billion, the planning minister said the project would help meet the accommodation problem of the female students at the university with the construction of new halls.
Besides, emphasis is being given on the project to strengthen the infrastructures of science and agriculture faculties.