The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) yesterday approved Taka 712.62 crore project for installing power prepayment meters at Rajshahi and Rangpur Divisions in a bid to ensure cent percent revenue collection and also to reduce system loss.
ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting in person held at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area. Ministers, State Ministers, Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned attended the meeting.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said that a total of nine projects were approved today involving an overall estimated cost of Taka 2,665.21 crore. State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam was also present at the briefing.
Of the approved nine projects, seven are new while the rest are revised projects.
Revealing some of the directives from the premier, the planning minister said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the meeting asked the authorities concerned to speed up the installation of the smart prepayment metering initiatives.
The Prime Minister also noted that if the operations of prepayment metering efforts are strengthened, then system loss will come down significantly.
Mannan said the head of the government also directed to the authorities concerned to go tough actions against those who have huge arrear electricity bills.
She suggested for taking action against the errant electricity consumers either public or private as per the law and even severe their power connections after serving notices.
Mannan said that the Prime Minister asked the Ministry of Shipping to modernize all the land ports in phases since Bangladesh shares some 24 land ports with India.
She said that modern equipment and systems should be installed at all the land ports so that the government could be able to deliver much better services.
The planning minister said that the current stance of the government is to repair and upgrade the existing roads rather than making new roads.
He said that the Prime Minister also directed the authorities concerned to take efforts for protecting the environment, rivers, canals, forests before building any infrastructure.
Mannan said at the very outset of the meeting, the Prime Minister shared her experience over her struggle for building the much-hyped Padma Multipurpose Bridge project with own fund.
The Prime Minister said that the Awami League government was able to build such a huge structure with own financing since she gained full support and cooperation from the countrymen.
Ahead of the country’s 6th Population and Housing Census to be held on June 15-21, 2022, the planning minister sought whole-hearted support from the people to make the census a success.