20,000 acres to be acquired for 11 economic zones

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The government has decided to acquire more than 20,000 acres of land in the next three years from July to establish 11 economic zones across the country.

The cost has been estimated at around Tk 6,700 crore.
The cost of the land, owned both by the government and the private sector, will be borne from the allocations to be made in the annual development plan for three consecutive years from 2016 to 2018, a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office decided in the past week.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting as the head of the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority governing board.
BEZA officials heaved a sigh of relief after the board meeting had agreed to source the required fund for land acquisition from the ADP allocation. Earlier, the finance ministry refused to sanction an allocation of Tk 3,000 crore from the revenue budget sought by the BEZA authorities to acquire land against four economic zones.
‘We are happy that fund is no longer a problem for acquiring land to establish economic zones in the country,’ BEZA executive chairman Paban Chowdhury told New Age In the past week.
He said the BEZA was optimistic about implementation of the projects by the set timeframe of 2017-2018 financial year as local resources would be made available to start the project.
According to the meeting decision, land for four zones will be acquired in the next fiscal year at an estimated cost of Tk 2473.33 crore. The economic zones selected for the given fiscal year are Sripur, Gajipur economic zone, Anwara-2 economic zone, Jamalpur economic zone and Mirsarai economic zone.
Four more economic zones, for which land will be acquired in 2016-2017 fiscal year, are Anwara economic zone, Mirsarai-2 economic zone, Sirajgang economic zone and Panchagarh economic zone.
The fiscal year 2017-2018 will bear the cost of Tk 2578.68 crore through its ADP for acquiring lands for three economic zones. The zones are – Narsingdi economic zone, Manikgang economic zone and Agailjhara economic zone in Barisal.
Officials concerned in the BEZA said the board meeting had also approved an incentive scheme for the investors in the zones. The meeting approved a total of 17 economic zones to be established in phases.
‘Prime minister Sheikh Hasina instructed us to select locations for 100 zones across the country to attract potential investors, both local and overseas,’ a senior BEZA official said.
He said BEZA had a plan to establish the 100 zones in next 15 years on an estimated 30,000 acres of land. Nearly one crore people will be employed in the zones by 2030, he added, quoting a study report of BEZA.

Source: New Age