Five projects involving a total of Tk 12.66 billion got nod on Tuesday, including a Tk 2.46 billion project for development and management of Hilsha resources.
The approval came at a meeting of Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) virtually held with its Chief Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.Sheikh Hasina joined the meeting from Ganabhaban while other ministers and high officials attended the meeting from NEC conference room in the capital.
The premier joined the meeting virtually from her official Ganobhaban residence while the ministers, state ministers and others concerned attended the meeting from the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.
All the project money will come from the state coffer, Planning Minister MA Mannan informed at a press briefing after the meeting.
Of the approved schemes, four are new and one is a revised project, he added.
The Hilsha development project eyes to ensure enforcement of the concerned law to conserve the mother Hilsha and Jhatka alongside boosting Hilsha production through optimum management of Hilsha sanctuaries.
Planning Commission member Md Zakir Hossain Akand said the project will be implemented in 134 upazilas under 29 districts of six divisions. The Department of Fisheries under the will implement it by June 2024.Main goals of the project is to enhance Hilsha production to 6.20 lakh metric tonnes from 5.33 lakh metric tonnes with creating alternative job opportunities for some 30,000 fishermen families.
Some 10,000 legal fishing nets will also be distributed among fishermen who are engaged in Hilsha fish catching.
Hilsha’s contribution to the country’s overall fish production is 11 percent while its contribution to the national GDP is 1 percent.
The project operations include operating six fish sanctuaries and imparting training to some 18,000 fishermen to create scope of alternative jobs for them.
In the meeting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina suggested for motivating fish farming in cages in the water and providing necessary training, cash support and distributing rice to those fishermen who remained out of work during the lean period, MA Mannan told reporters, quoting the PM.
Ecnec also approved a Tk 3.77 billion project to upgrade Digpait-Sarishabari-Tarakandi road under Jamalpur district to due standard and width.
While approving the scheme, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the concerned authorities to think very carefully before undertaking any road construction project, the planning minister said.
The Premier put emphasis on road maintenance apart from constructing those, Mannan added.
Sheikh Hasina also gave directives to the authorities concerned to avoid unnecessary road construction, safeguarding arable land and establishments as much as possible while constructing roads.
She also discouraged construction of new roads haphazardly as roads also obstruct free flow of water.