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PIFIC rolls out $40m fund for four sectors today

FE Report | December 09, 2020 00:00:00

A US $40 million worth of fund will be made available for the country's four targeted sectors to address their infrastructure constraints to help diversify the export basket and create fresh and quality jobs.

The Public Investment Facility for Infrastructure Constraints (PIFIC) fund will be rolled out under the Export Competitiveness for Jobs (EC4J) project implemented by the commerce ministry with support from World Bank Group.

The PIFIC, a cluster-based facility, will be launched today (Wednesday) to address infrastructure constraints in export-oriented leather and leather goods, footwear, plastic and light engineering sectors, EC4J project director Md Obaidul Azam said while speaking at a workshop. Economic Reporters' Forum (ERF) organized the workshop at its conference room in the city on Tuesday.

EC4J deputy project directors Md Abu Sayed Joarder and Sheikh Mohammad Abdur Rahman, project manager Md Lutfur Rahman, PIFIC team leader Shobuz AIkbal, ERF president Sharmin Rinvi and its general secretary SM Rashidul Islam, among others, were present at the workshop.

The $40 million PIFIC facility is expected to cover 15-20 infrastructure projects within industrial clusters of the selected sectors across the country, Mr Azam said.

The PIFIC grants will be given for the projects like access roads to reduce transport costs, upgrade water and wastewater services, water and wastewater treatment plants, upgrade water connections, waste management facility/recycling centers, last mile power transmission of electric power, enhance telecom connectivity, common technical services facilities like labs and specialized warehouse facilities.

About $0.5 million to $2.0 million grant will be given to each small works while $2.0 million to $10 million will be provided for larger ones, the project director said, adding that a feasibility study must be conducted for larger works.

The main aim is to remove infrastructural barriers to increase productivity and export-capacity in these four selected sectors to raise their production and exports, Mr Azam noted.

In this connection, PIFIC is accepting applications from industrial associations, business groups or consortiums of industrial clusters. It will select suitable applications and provide guidance and actively assist the nominated candidates in formulating a complete project proposal.

The support will also include feasibility study, project evaluation, technical design, preparation of procurement document and monitoring service during the project implementation period.

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