The National Economic Council (NEC) has approved the long-awaited mega strategy 'Bangladesh Delta Plan (BDP) 2100' in a bid to tap the huge potentials of Bangladesh as a delta country through water resources management, ensuring food and water security and tackling disasters.
The 100-year plan got the approval from the NEC meeting on Tuesday held at the NEC conference room at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area in Dhaka with NEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, reports BSS.
Briefing the reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said, "Today is a ‘Red Letter’ day for Bangladesh and also for the Planning Commission as such long-term nearly 100 year plan got approval for the first time in the country."
The General Economics Division (GED) has prepared the Plan with the assistance of the Dutch government and the World Bank.
A total of 26 studies were carried out by local experts and the plan was prepared in consultation with different stakeholders. It took three and a half years before the plan was approved.
AHM Mustafa Kamal said the country could boost the GDP growth by another 1.5 per cent by 2030 through the implementation of the plan.
"The short term of the Plan will be implemented by 2030, the mid-term by 2050 while the long term by 2100," he added.
The minister said that the government would need $37 billion by 2030 for implementation of the plan.
The planning minister said based on the experiences of the Netherlands, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had earlier directed the authorities concerned to frame such plan to tap the maximum potentials of Bangladesh as a deltaic region.
He informed that the Netherlands have been benefitted largely through adopting such plan as that country had been able to reclaim around 6,000 square kilometres of land in addition to their mainland.
“We firmly believe that our most important resources is the water resources. If we could properly utilise these resources, then we will certainly not lag behind in agriculture and Bangladesh will grow much stronger economically,” the minister added.
At least 80 projects have been selected for implementation under the Plan. Of them, 65 would be infrastructure projects while 15 others would aim at enhancing institutional capacity, efficiency and research.
According to a planning ministry document, the required fund for the 80 projects would come from the government, Green Climate Fund, development partners, foreign direct investment and the private sector.
At present, the government spends 0.8 per cent of the GDP for Delta management projects and programmes.
To implement the plan, 2.5 per cent of the GDP would be required. Bangladesh is likely to get $2 billion assistance from Green Climate Fund every year.
Besides, about 0.5 per cent from the private sector’s annual income could be added to the Delta Plan fund. Out of 2.5 per cent of GDP required for implementation of the Plan, around 80 per cent fund will come from the government sources while the rest of 20 per cent from the private sector.
Coastal, Varendra (Barind) and drought-prone, haor and flood-prone, Chittagong Hill Tracts, riverine and urban are the six areas to be given priority by the Delta Plan.
Member, GED of the Planning Commission Prof Dr Shamsul Alam said the Plan highlighted six hotspots including coastal areas (27,738 square kilometres), Barind and drought-prone region (22,848 square kilometres), haor and flash flood prone areas (16,574 square kilometres), CHT region (13,295 square kilometres), river region and estuaries (35,204 square kilometres) and urban region (19,823 square kilometres).
Due to climate change, the country’s agricultural production may be seriously affected. The production of paddy and wheat may decrease by 17 per cent and 61 per cent.
About 70 per cent areas in 16 districts, where poverty rate is very high, are most vulnerable to natural disasters, the document mentioned.
A high-level Delta Governance Council led by the prime minister would be formed to execute the Delta Plan 2100.
The planning minister would be its vice-president. The council would make decisions and give directives for implementing the plan.
Besides, a project or operations selection committee, led by GED member, would be constituted.
The secretaries of the ministries related to the Delta Plan would be committee members, who would select projects and programmes. The committee would also monitor implementation of the projects and programmes.