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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tk 762cr released for temporary Rohingya homes

Kazi Zahidul Hasan :
The Finance Division has released Tk 762 crore as advances to build temporary homes for 100,000 Rohingya refugees at Bhashan Char, a coastal island in the southeastern district of Noakhali.
Recently, it disbursed the fund to the account of 'Asrayan Project-3 under the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
An official of the Finance Division under the Finance Ministry told The New Nation yesterday that the fund has been released as advances tagging tough conditions in line with Public Procurement Act 2016 and Public Procurement Rules-2008.
"The money cannot be spent on any other project and that unused money must be returned to the government exchequer, is one of the conditions. The conditions have been slapped to execute the project in proper ways," he added.
PMO earlier asked the Finance Ministry to disburse a total of Tk 1,311 crore as advances from Tk 1898.45 allocated in the revised Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the current fiscal (2017-18) for building Rohingya rehabilitation shelters on Bhashan Char.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in November last approved the project (the construction of residences and necessary security infrastructure for the housing of 100,000 forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals in Noakhali's Hatiya at an estimated cost of Tk 2,312.
Earlier, Sheikh Hasina
 listed the project as 'priority one' as her government wanted to relocate Rohingyas from Cox's Bazar where they are now living in dire conditions.
The project to house 100,000 refugees would be completed by 2019.
The construction of the project started in July this year under the supervision of Bangladesh Navy.
"It's a priority project for the government that aimed at sheltering Rohingyas temporality before repatriate them," Finance Secretary Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury told The New Nation.
Finance Ministry officials said the project director would be held responsible if any irregularities take place while implementing the project.
They said the housing project for Rohingya refugees received an initial budgetary allocation of Tk 150 crore for the current fiscal year.
More than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have sought refuge in Bangladesh after the military in mostly Buddhist Myanmar launched a harsh counter-insurgency operation in their villages across the northern parts of Rakhine State, following attacks by Rohingya militants on an army base and police posts on August 25, last year.