The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved Tk 4,636 crore (Tk 46.36 billion) project for around 3 crores (30 million) higher technology based e-passports.
The project aims at modernising Bangladeshi passports keeping pace with other countries.Chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the 26th ECNEC meeting of the outgoing fiscal year (FY18) was held at the NEC conference room at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital on Thursday.
After the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told reporters that a proposal of the Bridges Division for acquiring some additional 1,162.67 hectares of land for the ongoing Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project worth Tk 1,400 crore (Tk 14 billion) more was also approved in the meeting.
Out of the proposed volume of lands, about 9.35 hectares will be acquired at the Mawa end of the bridge while the remaining 1,153.32 hectares at Janzira end, he added.
The Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project (2nd revised) is being implemented as a fast track one at an estimated cost of Tk 28,793.38 crore (Tk 287.93 billion). The construction work is scheduled to be completed by December 2018. Three components of the project out of five, Janzira and Mawa connecting roads and Service Area-2 were already completed while the work for main bridge construction and river training is under way.
The ECNEC approved a total of 14 projects with an outlay of Taka 16,972.24 crore (Tk 169.72 billion).
The government has initiated e-passport project to update passports as per international requirement because many countries do not accept Machine Readable Passports (MRPs), said Mustafa Kamal.However, he said MRPs will also be in effect alongside the e-passports unless the project is fully implemented.