PM for finding ways to phase out subsidies

Yesterday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina strictly ordered ministries to find ways to gradually get rid of the huge amount of subsidies that have to be spent on various sectors.

The Prime Minister proposed the guidelines when speaking about gas and electricity subsidies at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec), Planning Minister MA Mannan said.

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“Ending subsidies in stages – smoothly, economically and efficiently,” the planning minister said quoting the prime minister.

Usually, the government provides grants amounting to Tk 50,000 to Tk 60,000 crore per year for different sectors. However, the government will have to spend about Taka 70,000 crore in subsidies in the current financial year in the gas, fertilizer and electricity sectors alone if prices are not adjusted to world prices.

“The grant we give is not fair. Some people get this grant while some people give it. This is serious business. We need to get rid of the system,” Mannan said, while briefing the media afterward. the meeting.

The food subsidy and the air conditioner subsidy are completely different, he said.

Minister of State for Planning, Shamsul Alam, said, “We will give subsidies to farmers and marginalized people. We will not give the subsidy for the use of air conditioning to people who live in Gulshan.”

Responding to a question on the monitoring of development projects by Deputy Commissioners (DCs), Abu Hena Morshed Zaman, Secretary, Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED), said the issue of DCs to oversee projects was nothing new.

The firm in 2011 issued a notice, saying DC will monitor the projects, he said.

The secretary said there were 590 projects under the annual development program. “Among them, IMED has the capacity to monitor 500 projects. The rest is taken care of by the DCs.”

Yesterday, Ecnec approved 10 projects, two of which were revised. The overall estimated cost of the projects will be Tk 8,804.10 crore.

The projects include “Development of BTCL fiber optic transmission network for 5G utilization” at an estimated cost of Tk 1,059 crore and “Rehabilitation of coastal dams, development of drainage system and protection of riverbanks at Mujib Nagar and Monpura of Bhola, Phase-I” with an estimated cost of Tk 1,092.70 crore.

Other projects include polder rehabilitation and protection of Betagi town and other vulnerable parts from fluvial erosion caused by Bishkhali and Payra rivers in Barguna with Tk 826.49 crore; integrated community center for child care, protection and safe bathing facilities with Tk 271.83 crore; and the establishment of two modern fire stations in the industrial town of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib for Tk 122.72 crore.

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