The governing council of the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) approved four private Economic Zones (EZ) on Thursday.
Addressing the meeting the prime minister urged the officials to work sincerely for construction of the economic zones for overall development of the country.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has given utmost priority to the private sector for development. Taking the government facilities, she said, private investors are establishing industries on arable lands indiscriminately.
To protect the agricultural lands from unplanned industrialisation, the government has undertaken a plan to bring the industries in the same zone by providing various utility services, the premier added.
“We have to protect our farm land to provide food to 160 million people … we also have to give attention to employment generation through industrialisation,” she said.
The prime minister said the investors have to invest in the areas dedicated for industries. Unplanned industrialisation also causes environmental degradation, she added.
Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhit, industries minister Amir Hossain Amu, housing and public works minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, railway minister Mujibul Haq, land minister Shamsur Rahman Sharif, science and technology minister Yafez Osman, state minister for power Nasrul Hamid Bipu, state minister for labour and employment Mujibur Rahman Chunnu, governor of Bangladesh Bank Fazle Kabir, leaders of private sector industries and trade bodies and concerned secretaries attended the meeting.
Executive chairman of BEZA Paban Chowdhury gave a presentation on the progress of the activities of BEZA and its future plan.
Briefing reporters after the meeting PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim said the meeting approved four new private economic zones to be established in Madaripur, Faridpur, Noakhali and Kishoreganj.
The meeting in principle decided to enact the “Bangladesh Economic Zone (one-step services) Act” aimed at giving services to all local and foreign investors through different agencies more effectively, he said.
Karim said the meeting also discussed the draft of a policy for constituting Bangladesh Economic Zones (creation and operation of Economic Zones Welfare Fund).
The meeting discussed a proposal for a new tariff regime for land in the special economic zones and decided to provide land to the investors in a competitive price considering present global investment scenario.
The government has embarked on an initiative to construct 100 special economic zones across the country on 75,000 acres of land by 2030 to spur planned industrial development in protecting the unscrupulous use of agricultural land.