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The construction cost of the third terminal at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport has increased Tk 6,988 crore even before the start of the much-talked-about project.

Finance minister Mustafa Kamal disclosed the cost escalation of the project to Tk 20,598 crore from Tk 13,610 crore after a meeting of the cabinet committee of the national purchases at secretariat.

Presided by the finance minister, the committee awarded the construction deal on expansion of the of the county’s number one airport to Aviation Dhaka Consortium comprising Mitshubishi Corporation, Fijuata Corporation and Samsung C and T.

According to the proposal, two consortiums out of 22 initial bidders to the international tender floated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh in September 2018 submitted proposal.

Of them, the Aviation Dhaka Consortium quoted the lowest price. 

In October 2017, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council approved the expansion of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport project with an estimated cost of Tk 13,610 crore, of which Tk 11,214 crore as loan would be provided by Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The project was scheduled to be completed by June 2022 although it is yet to be started.

Mustafa Kamal told reporters that the implementation of the project had been delayed for many reasons.

But he did not elaborate the reasons.

On the cost escalation of the project, he said that the areas of the project had been expanded and separate places would be built for export and import cargos.

In the previous proposal, export and import cargos were to be dealt under a same place, he said.

Mustafa Kamal said the ministry of civil aviation and tourism would have to take approval from the ECNEC because of 39.3 per cent cost escalation of the project.

He said that they also approved a proposal for physical protection system for the under-construction Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.

The project costing Tk 3,449.05 crore will be implemented by the Army with technical assistance from Russia by March 2023.

The nuclear power plant project is the most expensive ever project in Bangladesh costing over US$ 12 billion.

The power plant has been built with financial and technical assistance from Russia and one of the plant’s two reactors is expected to be commissioned in 2023.

The cabinet committee on national purchases also approved three more proposals, including awarding a deal worth Tk 46.68 crore to British Council on training course of primary school teachers in English and appointment of the Bangladesh Diesel Plant on direct purchase method for a flood control project worth Tk 147.50 crore in Khulna.

Mustafa Kamal while answering questions said that he did not aware of the discussion took place in the meeting of the ECNEC on Tuesday on the country’s banking sector.

A number of ministers expressed disappointment with the delay in bringing down the interest rate of the lending to single digit at the meeting presided over by prime minister Sheikh Hasina at planning commission, officials attending the meeting said.

Mustafa Kamal, however, said he was not present at the meeting.

News Courtesy: www.newagebd.net

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