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Call to establish PPP infrastructure platform

Issuing bond to fund big projects suggested

FE Report | February 12, 2018 00:00:00

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Authority Sunday laid emphasis on creating a PPP infrastructure platform for doing business smoothly.

The call came when the board of directors of the DCCI called on chief executive officer of the state agency Syed Afsor H. Uddin.

President of the DCCI Abul Kasem Khan said that some 47 projects costing US$14 billion have been principally approved at the PPP office.

Bangladesh is placed at the bottom, ranking 177 in the World Bank's "Ease of Doing Business" index of 2018, he said.

He said that recurrent falls in doing business index hurt the potential of foreign investment in PPP projects.

He said that the infrastructure investment to gross domestic product (GDP) trend is discouraging and is still below 5.0 per cent.

The infrastructure investment to GDP was 2.87 per cent in 2016, which increased marginally to 2.96 per cent of GDP in 2017.

On the other hand, the private investment and GDP are currently 23 per cent, which needs to be raised to 29 per cent.

The country requires an additional investment of $5.45 billion each year to finance infrastructure, Mr Khan said.

He proposed to include the private sector in the PPP board for faster implementation of such projects in future.

He also proposed to form a "National Infrastructure Development and Monitoring Advisory Authority" (NIDMAA) to speed up implementation and monitoring of large infrastructure projects.

He also proposed issuing an infrastructure bond through the stock market for financing large infrastructure projects.

CEO of PPP authority Syed Afsor H. Uddin underscored the importance on forming a public-private infrastructure platform and a national infrastructure plan.

He also suggested forming a national infrastructure execution committee for timely implementation of mega projects.

He identified instant finance, skilled manpower, lack of specialist project delivery team and lengthy procedures in feasibility studies as some challenges in timely execution of PPP projects.

He also said that by the year 2018 about US$1.6 billion will be spent on 13 mega PPP projects in road, township, tourism, health, port and industrial sector.

He noted that in terms of investing in PPP projects, the investor will get tax and VAT exemption for 10 years from the time of operation.

DCCI directors Akber Hakim, Andaleeb Hasan, Humayun Rashid, Salim Akhter Khan, Waqar Ahmad Choudhury and Secretary-General AHM Rezaul Kabir were also present.

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