Industrial projects go full steam ahead
Author / Source : Jasim Uddin Khan
Dhaka, Jan 6: The government has woken up, after three years of its tenure, to the bleak investment scenario and is taking steps to implement Tk 1600 crore worth of projects involving five specialised industrial zones and four BSCIC estates, by 2014. In 2011, the overall flow of investment (as percentage of GDP) came down to a standstill, compared to the first two years of the government, due mainly to shortage of industrial plots, liquidity crisis and inadequacy of gas and power, sources said.
The large specialised industrial projects including the Tk 550-crore Savar Leather Industry Park, Tk 235-crore Munshiganj Active Pharmaceuticals Industrial Park, Tk 200-crore Automobile Park at Amin Bazar, Tk 400-crore Sirajganj Specialized Industrial Zone and the Tk-150 crore Mirershari Special Economic Zone had long been facing manifold problems including legal tangle, availability of funds, land acquisition and complex bureaucracy. All the projects have got the Cabinet nod.
Industries minister Dilip Barua on Wednesday told The Independent that the government was set to launch all the mentioned industrial projects between 2013 and 2014. He hoped that the ongoing industrial projects would accommodate over 2,500 entrepreneurs with projected employment for five lakh people.
The government has projected a major investment boom that is slated to see the investment-to-GDP ratio rise by over six percentage points by 2014-15.
Barua said work order for the much-awaited Savar Leather Industry Park would be issued within the next couple of months after completing a legal process. He said land acquisition, earth filling, construction, training and loan disbursement for the project had already been completed.
The minister hoped that construction of the industrial park for manufacturing pharmaceutical ingredients at Munshigonj would be completed this year.
The Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) Park project will reduce dependency on imported raw materials for this industry from next year.
The project faced a land acquisition problem and now the government has asked the implementing agency, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC). to complete the construction work by this year itself. The proposed readymade garment (RMG) industrial park worth Tk 438 crore is set to be completed by 2013.
The minister said both the BEPZA and BSCIC had received applications seeking 350 industrial plots which the RMG Park could honour.
The BSCIC is putting up an automobile estate at Amin Bazar in the capital aiming to rehabilitate the automobile engineering workshops, which are scattered all over Dhaka, in a healthy and safe environment.
The industrial estate will have 187 plots of different sizes under the project and after establishment it will create employment opportunities for 20,000 people directly and for many more indirectly, the minister said.
Besides the BSCIC is constructing the largest ever industrial park in Sirajgonj worth Tk 400 crore to boost industrialisation and invigorate the rural economy. There will be 801 industrial plots and, of them, 570 will be reserved for private industrial entrepreneurs.
The project, covering 400 acres at Saidabad and Kalia Haripur in the district town, also received the go-ahead from the economic council, he added.
The Tk 384-crore project, which will have around 801 industrial plots, is expected to be completed by mid-2014. A total of 570 export-oriented, import-substitute and domestic mills and factories will be set up in the industrial park, officials said.
Another industrial plot is coming up at Mirsarai on 25 acres. According to the profile of the project which will be implemented by this year, the town will have 186 industrial plots where 125 small and medium units could be set up.
Once implemented, the project would create 6,000 direct jobs apart from several thousand indirect ones, the minister said.
Besides land acquisition for Gopalganj, Comilla, Kustia and Rangpur industrial estates under BSCIC is going on and is expected to be completed by 2013.