Experts for more engagement of private sector in implementing Bangladesh Delta Plan;
Planning State Minister calls for duty reduction on dredgers
Experts in a seminar titled Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100: Private Sector Involvement to achieve a Safe, Climate-Resilient and Prosperous Delta organized by FBCCI on August 06, 2022 called for more engagement of the private sector to attain the goals of Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100.
FBCCI President Mr. Md. Jashim Uddin in his welcome speech called for direct involvement of the private sector in effective implementation of Delta Plan.
The President said that the Delta Plan 2100 implementation will require the financing worth 2.5% of GDP per year, of which 20% is planned to come from the private sector. Private sector engagement will boost up the pace and quality of river management, water supply in urban and rural areas, waste management, flood control and drainage management.
Mentioning the use of waterways and river navigation, the President said, potentials of waterways should be harnessed. To do so, naval routes inside Dhaka and its districts and nearest areas should be introduced. Thus, achieving a safe and environment resilient Delta will be easier.
Dredgers and other heavy machinery used in the implementation of the projects undertaken to achieve the Delta goals are heavily import dependents. Therefore, the president urged the government to keep the tariff rate of these products at a reasonable level. He informed that the total duty on dredgers is 31 percent currently, which was earlier 1 percent. The FBCCI president demanded to take back the duty structure to 1 per cent.
While speaking as the Chief Guest, State Minister for Planning Dr. Shamsul Alam said that the revenue structure should be development oriented rather than income oriented. Therefore, he called for a review of the import duty on dredgers. The government has only 30 dredgers, but more than 200 dredgers are needed for this work. Therefore, the entire dredging work should be left to the private sector, the State Minister opined.
The keynote, presented by the former Additional Director General of Bangladesh Water Development Board Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman, revealed that the scope of engaging private entrepreneurs with the Delta Plan is yet to be untapped. They have a huge potential of investing in dredging, land reclamation, ship building, inland waterways, water supply and sanitation, agriculture and irrigation, flood control and drainage. Private sector involvement will ease the financing needed to achieve the goals of Delta Plan 2100, he noted.
Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources Mr. Kabir Bin Anwar, as special guest at the seminar stressed on good governance in Delta Plan implementation.
In contrast to decreasing large amounts of arable land, demand for food is increasing, putting the country in a great challenge. Therefore, Mr. Md. Sayedul Islam, Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture urged the private sector to come forward in agriculture to build a self-sufficient agricultural.
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry’s Secretary Dr. Farhina Ahmed said, $ 230 bn private investment is needed to implement Delta Plan; therefore, more involvement of Private sector is a must.
Earlier, Emeritus Professor of BRAC University Dr. Ainun Nishat opined that, Private sector engagement can reclaim a large area of land. He also suggested revising the Delta Plan every five years.
FBCCI panel advisor and Founder Director of Channel I Mr. Shykh Seraj said, the research activities are slower than the climate changes which do not allow the research output functions properly.
Assistant Professor of Dhaka University Ms. Aroni Barkat sought compensation from the carbon emitted countries whose activities put Bangladesh at the risk of climate change.
FBCCI Vice President Mr. Md. Amin Helaly urged the government to produce union and village centric development master plan.
Director Mr. Md. Naser called for the inclusion of FBCCI President in Delta Governance Council.
Amongst others, FBCCI Senior Vice President Mr. Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu, Vice President Mr. Salahuddin Alamgir, Mr. Md. Habib Ullah Dawn, Directors, Chairmen of different standing committees, FBCCI secretary general Mr. Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque were also present at the seminar.
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