Staff Correspondent: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) yesterday approved a Tk 1,059.10 crore developing the optical fiber transmission network of Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) for expanding 5G network in the country.
The approval came at the 11th meeting of the ECNEC in the current fiscal year (FY22) held with its Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The premier joined the meeting virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence here.
Ministers, State Ministers and Secretaries concerned attended the meeting from the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area. Briefing the reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said a total of 10 projects were approved today involving an overall estimated cost of Tk 8,804.10 crore.
“Of the total project cost, Tk 8,515.87 crore will come from the
government of Bangladesh, Tk 120.78 crore from the concerned organization’s own fund while the rest of Taka 167.45 crore from project assistance,” he added.
State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam, Planning Commission Members and Secretaries concerned were also present at the briefing.
The planning minister said the main objective of the optical fiber network upgradation project is to spread uninterrupted state of the art telecommunications network and modern broadband internet facilities across the country.
Besides, the optical fiber transmission network of the BTCL will also be developed and expanded to meet the growing demand. The BTCL under the Post and Telecommunication Division will implement the project by December 2024.
The project aims to raise the data transmission speed to 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) at upazila levels.
The superfast mobile service can deliver a peak data rate of up to 20 Gbps and can connect virtually everyone and everything, including machines, objects, and devices.
The project will improve and expand BTCL’s optical fiber transmission network to provide uninterrupted telecommunication and modern broadband internet facilities.
The fund of the project will be used to procure and install telecommunication and electrical equipment and establish 146 underground optical fiber cable links with a combined length of 3,144 kilometres.
The planning minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the meeting asked the authorities concerned to expand the 5G network in the country and also to strengthen the 4G network.
The premier also stressed the need for expediting the work for launching the 2nd Bangabandhu Satellite in the orbit, he said.
Mannan said the premier also emphasised the need for gradually coming out from the subsidy system in the power and energy sector.
“It’s a serious matter and we must get out of this subsidy system. The process will start and this has to be done gradually and gently,” he said.
The minister said that the government has been giving subsidies in many sectors and the prime minister has suggested coming out from the subsidy trend gently which should also be economically acceptable.
Supplementing the planning minister, State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said that subsidy in the power sector is costly and there is a need for cutting down such subsidy in industrial production.
He, however, said that the subsidy in the agriculture sector would continue as usual.
Revealing some of the directives from the prime minister in the ECNEC meeting, Mannan said that the premier asked the concerned Ministry to keep ready necessary manpower for operating the modern machines and equipment in the hospitals so that those do not remain idle.
The prime minister also directed the concerned authorities to set up
Novotheatres under a big project in those districts which do not have at the moment.
She also suggested setting up a separate body under the Ministry of Science and Technology to supervise the operations of the Novotheatres.
The premier also directed the authorities concerned to ensure good waste management in the public hospitals side by side motivating the private hospitals to have sound waste management of their own, Mannan said.
She also advised the authorities concerned to take steps for expanding the mangrove forests in Barguna.
Meanwhile, the planning minister informed that the Annual Development Plan (ADP) implementation status during the July-January period of the current, fiscal year (FY22) is 30.21 percent which was 28.45 percent during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year (FY21).
Mannan said this has been possible due to the hard work of the countrymen irrespective of their class and creed as well as the firm decision making character of the premier.
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