09 May 2024, 18:22
Update : 10 May 2024, 10:38

PM asks finance ministry to take effective steps to enlist SoEs in share market

DHAKA, May 9, 2024 (BSS) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked the Finance Division of the Ministry of Finance to take effective steps to enlist the potential State Owned Enterprises (SoEs) or the government entities and public companies, in the capital market to enhance more the strength and fundamentals of the country's share market.

The Premier gave the directive while chairing the 9th meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) of this year held at the NEC Conference Room in city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

Briefing the reporters after the meeting, Planning Division Senior Secretary Satyajit Karmakar said that the Prime Minister has asked the Finance Division and the Finance Secretary to take effective steps to enlist the SoEs and the government entities in the share market.

Planning Minister Major General (retd) Abdus Salam, State Minister for Planning Md Shahiduzzaman Sarker, Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned attended the briefing.

Answering to a question, Satyajit Karmakar said that the Premier did not specify the names of the SoEs, 

but asked the Finance Division and the Finance Secretary to select the SoEs and the concerned government companies after proper scrutiny before enlisting those in the capital market.

Supplementing on the Prime Minister's directive, the Planning Minister termed it as an important decision and said that this would enhance the competitiveness of those government enterprises as they would be eventually able to minimize their expenditures.

"This will also create an attitude of competition and once those (SoEs) will be able to undertake projects based on their own income'" he said adding that certain time would be given to the government enterprises and entities so that they could be enlisted in the capital market and thus compete with the private companies.

The Planning Secretary said the meeting also approved a total of 10 projects involving an overall estimated cost of Taka 5,563.68 crore. "Of the total project cost, Taka 5,203.21 crore will come from the government portion and Taka 360.47 crore as project assistance".

Of the approved 10 projects, eight are new while two are revised projects.

Revealing some of the directives from the Premier, Satyajit said in line with the Prime Minister's earlier directive for implementing those nearing completion projects with necessary funds, a record number of 334 projects out of 339 projects would be completed within this fiscal year (FY24). The rest of the five projects are unlikely to be completed within this fiscal year due to some rational reasons.

He said the Prime Minister asked the authorities concerned to remain alert in building bridges in exact height on the rivers and canals so that the river vessels can ply smoothly as well as the usual flow of water is not hindered.

Referring to the Taka 1,874.54 crore projects for necessary land acquisition, land development and constructing basic infrastructures for Sheikh Hasina Medical University, Khulna, the Prime Minister gave two observations -- first to change her name from the project title and also to shift the component cost of building a mural in other components.

Satyajit, however, said following requests from several ministers and secretaries and considering legal complexities, the ECNEC  agreed to use the Prime Minister’s name for the Khulna Medical University. 

“There will be many complications if the prime minister's name is removed from the Khulna Medical University because the Parliament has already passed the act," he added.

Expressing dissatisfaction on this, Sheikh Hasina also cautioned that she would not give approval to any proposal in future if her name is attached to any project.

About the approval of Taka 284.76 crore project for China Aid Project of Burn Unit of Chittagong Medical College Hospital in Bangladesh, she suggested the concerned authorities for sitting with the development partner to select a fresh name for the project.

When asked whether the Planning Commission is relaxing its terms and conditions for extending the timeframes of projects, Satyajit replied in the negative and said that despite repeated appeals from the executing agencies, the Planning Commission did not extend the timeframes for which a record number of 334 projects would see completion in this fiscal year.

Commenting on the issue, the Planning Minister said, "As long as the projects will be delayed, there will be time over runs. This is why we scrutinize each and every project before taking it. But, sometimes, there is time over run of projects due to unavoidable circumstances,"

Citing that delay in land acquisition often delays the execution of projects, Salam said that the government has taken decision to start the process of land acquisition as early as early possible while undertaking a project.

Mentioning that the existing problems surrounding the project directors would be resolve very soon, the Planning Minister said if the Ministries and divisions concerned conduct the feasibility studies in a speedy manner, the possible problems and potentials would be rightly identified which would eventually help in smooth implementation of development schemes.

Salam also hoped that under the dynamic and courageous leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the operations of the Planning Commission would be further smooth and thus the country would march towards prosperity.

Asked whether the recent devaluation of Taka against US Dollars would put an impact on the foreign aided projects, the Planning Secretary said it is very hard to determine the immediate impact.

The other projects approved in the meeting are: Capacity Building of Statistics Service based on Platform with Taka 144.07 crore, Important rural infrastructures development: Pirojpur and Jhalkati districts with Taka 1,100 crore, Important rural infrastructures development: Barishal district with Taka 1,000 crore, Programme for Sustainability in the Textile and Leather Sector (STILE) with Taka 81.44 crore,

 Transforming the production method of Chatak Cement Company Ltd from wet process to dry process, 2nd revised with an additional cost of Taka 527.77 crore, Constructing new state-of-the art circuit house building instead of the existing Dhaka district circuit house building with Taka 334.46 crore, Constructing various infrastructures for the newly formed (63BGB) battalion of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) with Taka 223.02 crore and Urban Resilience Project (URP): DDM portion, 3rd revised with a les expenditure of Taka 6.40 crore.

Minister and State Ministers attended the meeting while Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned were present.

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