The land acquisition process to set up Araihazar Economic Zone (AEZ) in Narayanganj district is now at the final stage, an official said.
"We are working on it. We hope we will be able to finalise the land acquisition process for Araihazar Economic Zone shortly," General Manager Investment Promotion of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), Md Moniruzzaman, told the FE.
Initially, the BEZA earmarked a total of 540.77 acres of land located at Panchrukhi and Panchgaon Mouzas under Araihazar upazila of Narayangaj for the proposed AEZ, dedicated to Japanese entrepreneurs for setting up different types of export-oriented factories.
The project (economic zone) will be implemented by BEZA which is under the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
The financial cost for implementing the first phase of the project is estimated at more than US $145 million ($145,883,747) which will be financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The implement period for the project has been set from January 2018 to March 2022.
Bangladesh has achieved around seven per cent economic growth in the last few years and the country needs to achieve eight per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the next few years to retain its status as a developing nation.
Bangladesh achieved the eligibility to graduate to a developing country from the least developed country (LDC) one recently.
The government has set a target to establish 100 special economic zones (SEZ) at different places of the country aiming to create employments and increase the country's GDP growth that will help turn the nation into a developed one by 2041.
The BEZA official said that they have conducted an environmental impact assessment (EIA) at the place where the proposed economic zone will be set up.
Japan Development Institute Limited (JDI) and EQMS Consulting Limited of Bangladesh have completed the research work on environmental aspects/assessment in the proposed economic zone area.
The research identified 150 families out of total 1,714 families living around the proposed AEZ area are vulnerable.
The research suggests to provide adequate/sufficient financial compensation along with resettlement arrangement for the people to be affected due to the economic zone.
It also recommended for providing jobs to the local people on the basis of their education and other required qualities.
The BEZA official said that AEZ will create around 50,000-employment once it goes into full operation after completion of the project.
He said the area of the proposed economic zone may be expanded after the successful implementation of the first phase of the proposed AEZ.
He said that they held a meeting with the land owners of the proposed economic zone project yesterday (Monday).
"We assured the land owners that they will get three times the price for their land compared with the present market value as compensation before the implementing of the economic zone project," Moniruzzaman added.
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