Economic Shock of Russia-Ukraine War: Govt assessing impact on mega projects
DOT Desk: The government is reviewing the progress of its mega projects in light of recent economic shocks caused by the Russia-Ukraine war. A taskforce on fast-track projects held a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) yesterday to assess the impact of inflation, dollar crisis, and other external factors on these projects, reports Daily Sun.
PMO’s Principal Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah chaired the meeting, said sources at the Economic Relations Division (ERD), which is acting as the secretariat of the taskforce.
The mega projects include Padma bridge, Metro Rail, Rooppur nuclear power plant, Rampal coal power plant, Matarbari coal power plant, Payra deep seaport, Padma rail link project, and Dohazari-Ghundhum rail line project via Cox’s Bazar and Ramu. The Metro Rail Line-6 project received special attention at the meeting. The taskforce discussed the impact of limited operation from Uttara to Agargaon, remaining work and other issues. The state of execution of previous meeting resolutions and the rise of project cost and time at the eleventh hour were also discussed. According to meeting sources, the estimated cost of the eight projects is Tk 3,062.69 billion, of which Tk 1,872.93 billion has been spent until December 2022.
The projects have seen overall progress of 76.85 percent and an average financial progress of 66.88 percent. State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam stated that project progress is good and efforts are being made to ensure that the ongoing financial crisis does not disrupt progress.
If necessary, allocations from other projects will be curtailed to provide funding. The government’s highest priority is to resolve any problems that may arise, he noted. Dr Alam also explained that last-minute cost hikes and time extensions are common in mega projects.
For example, he mentioned that the Padma Bridge project’s cost and time have risen for river training work, which is important for the safety of the bridge. According to an IMED report, the Padma Bridge project was opened on June 25, 2022, with 4.2 percent work remaining unfinished. By December 2022, the project had a progress of 94.52 percent with 95.80 percent physical progres.