Public-private Partnership: New scheme to get Tk 700cr budget

In the next fiscal year’s budget a minimum of Tk 700 crore might be allocated for the new public-private partnership (PPP) scheme dubbed Bangladesh Investment Infrastructure Fund.

Yesterday at a high level meeting, Finance Minister AMA Muhith discussed different aspects of the PPP budget, the final proposal regarding which might be sent to the National Economic Council (NEC) soon, meeting sources said.

After the meeting, talking to reporters Muhith however did not disclose the exact amount of the PPP budget, but said it will be of several hundred crores of taka, 30 percent of which will come from government contributions and the remaining 70 percent from the private sector contributions. The figure might vary and the ratio of private contributions might also be larger, he added.

Finance ministry sources however said the PPP budget might even be given more than Tk 1,000 crore.

A separate authority will be set up to implement the PPP projects, which will be led by a private sector specialist, with secretarial services provided by the finance division. Under the authority a number of committees will select various types of projects.

Currently, Private Sector Infrastructure Committee (PICOM) works under the Board of Investment (BoI). PICOM already approved a number of projects in the private sector over the last few years. Once the PPP budget is approved, PICOM will work under the finance division.

Already the finance ministry identified some 30 projects, which might be brought under the PPP budget. The identified projects include construction of Dhaka-Chittagong expressway, construction of an elevated expressway in the capital, and a number of projects for solving the crisis of debilitating traffic jams in Dhaka city, the sources said.

Finance minister Muhith told journalists, “There will be an authority for implementing the budget, but government officials will not be in charge of the authority. It will not be run by the government rules for ADP either. In addition to infrastructure building projects, the PPP budget will fund projects in education, health and social sectors.”

Some projects under the PPP scheme might even be completely funded by private sources, the minister added.

The government will also formulate a five-year work plan to build a ‘Digital Bangladesh’, the planning phase for which will start in the next fiscal, the minister announced.

Source: The Daily Star, 19 May 2009


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