No project that affects people: PM
12:00 AM, March 22, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:59 AM, March 22, 2019

No project that affects people: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the authorities concerned to take development projects that do not adversely affect people.

"We'll definitely undertake development projects, but the development will have to be for the people. There should be no development [project] harming the people,"  she said.

The PM said this during a presentation of Moheshkhali-Matarbari Integrated Infrastructure Development Initiative (MIDI) Project at her office.

Provide proper compensation in time to the people whose lands are acquired for development projects, Hasina directed the authorities.

Talking about the development of Cox's Bazar, Hasina said the coastal district was once neglected.

"There was nothing in Cox's Bazar and the people of the entire region used to depend on only salt and betel leaf cultivation."

But her government is developing Cox's Bazar as a tourist hub. Besides, industries are being set up by the government in char areas of the district after discussions with the communities, she said.

The largest coal-fired power plant of the country, a coal jetty and an LNG terminal are being built in Matarbari.

Besides, a multipurpose seaport, special economic zone, road, rail and other relevant projects are being taken there, she added.

Countries like Japan, China, India and Korea have already expressed their interest in investing in Matarbari, the PM said.

Once implemented, the projects in Matarbari will play a major role in developing the region and the country's economy.

The PM said the government is setting up the economic zone while developing Cox's Bazar as a tourist centre.

Setting up of rail lines to Cox's Bazar is progressing fast, she said, adding that high-speed trains would be introduced on the route.

Nazrul Islam, the PM's speech writer, briefed reporters after the event.

Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority, handed the PM a master plan of the MIDI Project at the beginning of the event.

Ministers and secretaries concerned as well as high officials of different ministries and departments were present at the event moderated by Abul Kalam Azad, principal coordinator on the SDG affairs at PMO.

Officials said the work on formulating a draft on the Land Use Survey of the project site was underway by JICA.

The Japan government has proposed investing about $ 20 billion for the project, they added.

Meanwhile, the Awami League and the Communist Party of China yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation between the two parties.

AL International Affairs Secretary Dr Shammi Ahmed and visiting Minister of International Department of the Central Committee of Communist Party of China (CPC) Song Tao inked the MoU on behalf of their respective parties at the Prime Minister's official residence Gono Bhaban in the city.

The deal was signed after a meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Song Tao at the Gono Bhaban.

At the meeting, the prime minister sought China's support for safe and sustainable return of Rohingyas to Myanmar from Bangladesh.

In reply, the CPC leader assured her of China's cooperation for safe repatriation of Rohingyas and said Beijing was already working to this end.

PM's Speech Writer Md Nazrul Islam briefed reporters after the meeting.

"China can play an important role in the repatriation of Rohingyas," Nazrul quoted the prime minister as saying.

Sheikh Hasina, also the AL president, hoped that the relations and cooperation between the two friendly governments and the two parties would strengthen further in the days to come.

Song Tao also expressed the same hope, saying CPC and AL believe in the similar ideology.

The Prime Minister said China was one of Bangladesh's very important partners in developing its various sectors, particularly power and infrastructure. "Such cooperation is playing a significant role in increasing Bangladesh's GDP growth."

She mentioned that steps had been taken to further expand the cooperation between China and Bangladesh in trade and communication.

Pointing to China's project to export gas to Myanmar through pipeline, Hasina proposed bringing gas through the pipeline from Myanmar to Mirsarai Economic Zone in Chattogram where 700 acres of land were allotted to China for setting up an industrial park.

She also called for bringing more Chinese investors who can invest in various sectors of Bangladesh for mutual benefits.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, and AL leaders Faruk Khan, Mohammad Jamir, Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman were, among others, present.

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