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Saturday, November 28, 2020

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Asif Showkat Kallol
21 Nov 2020 17:22:00

Low cost loan to set up Nawabganj Economic Zone

Low cost loan to set up Nawabganj Economic Zone

Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) has arranged low cost government loan to set up Nawabganj Economic Zone in Dhaka.

Besides, it has said the BEZA is not financially sound as a result it is not possible to provide high interest loan.

Finance Division on Thursday approved the BEZA proposal of one percent interest instead of six percent interest rate to take loan of Tk 1869.62 crore for developing the project on July 30, 2020 and to end the project on June 30, 2023.

At the beginning of the year BEZA approved the new economic zone to be established at Nawabganj in Dhaka.

Official of BEZA said the government has taken initiative to establish a large economic zone in Nawabganj which is very close to the capital in order to encourage planned industrialization, employment, production, export growth and diversification and has taken various steps to build the country’s economy.

Through this economic zone rapid economic development of the country will take place and employment of a large working population will be ensured, the official also said.

BEZA will establish this economic zone on 874 acres of land. Meanwhile, BEZA has already sent a Detailed Project Plan (DPP) to the Prime Minister’s Office.

BEZA says the proposed economic zone will be 39 km from Dhaka, 3 km from Kamalapur Railway Station and 256 km from Chattogram. As a result, this economic zone will attract the investors. With the approval of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, production will start here in four years.

Paban Chowdhury, Executive Chairman of BEZA, said, many world-renowned foreign companies are coming up with big investment proposals. Their interest in the economic zone has opened the door to immense potential for the economy of Bangladesh which is near Dhaka.

He said, the government has taken initiative to establish a big economic zone in Nawabganj to open the door for domestic and foreign investment.

 Mentioning the overall investment situation in the economic zone to be set up in Nawabganj, he said the project has two objectives. “The first is to arrange land for the removal of as many dangerous industries as there are in the capital. Second, to arrange land for domestic and foreign investors who want land around Dhaka,” he added.

“Out of 874 acres of land, 834 acres are privately owned,” said Paban Chowdhury, adding that there is no settlement in these lands. Moreover, the land remains under water during a fixed period of the year and used for farming in other time. The Dhaleshwari and Ichamati rivers are very close to this region. So,  the proposed economic zone will also have waterway connectivity.

 According to BEZA sources, small and medium industries will get priority in Nawabganj. Old Dhaka’s chemical, plastic and light engineering industries will get special benefits. BEZA is also keeping in mind the needs of foreigners.

The Nimtali or Churihatta tragedy proved how dire the consequences of unplanned industrialization in residential areas can be. The lives of many people were been burnt into ashes in these two horrific blaze incidents. Although various organizations have taken initiatives to make Old Dhaka safe, no result has come. As a result, steps have been taken to build an economic zone near the capital, BEZA sources told.

BEZA chairman said BEZA has enough fund for providing loan to develop the economic zones.

He also said the green policy will be followed in the construction of the region.

 There will be designated areas for reservoirs and afforestation besides factories. BEZA will ensure all services including central waste treatment plant and fire service station. “Even investors do not need to visit different companies to build factories in the region, all services can be taken from One-Stop Service Center,” he added.

It is worth to be mentioned that Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) has so far received investment proposals of about $20.5 billion from 151 domestic and foreign businesses. $2.8 billion of this has been invested. Among the foreign investors – Honda Motors, Sumitomo, Nippon, Asian Paints and Berger Paints, Adani, Wilmer, Yabang, Jindun, Siam Group, TIC Group, Unilever, Sakata Inx and China Harbour – are notable.

 To open the door for domestic and foreign investment, BEZA has already set up eight special economic zones, these are – Mirsarai-2A Economic Zone, Mirsarai-2B Economic Zone, Mirsarai Economic Zone, Feni Economic Zone, SBG Economic Zone, Jamalpur Economic Zone, Srihatta Economic Zone and Mongla Economic Zone under Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City.

 

ask/wi