The government plans increasing power production to 12,853 megawatt (MW) in the next five years.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said this while disclosing the seventh Five-year Plan in the NEC conference centre in the city on Sunday.
Under the plan, 7,682 MW power, about 60 per cent, will come from the private sector, and the rest 5,171 MW from the public sector, said the Minister.
Member of the Planning Commission's General Economic Division (GED) Dr Shamsul Alam presented the keynote paper. Local government and Rural Development (LGRD) and Cooperatives Minister Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain was present at the function as the chief guest. Housing and Public Works Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan and State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid were present as special guests.
The 7th Five-year Plan targets cuts in upper and lower poverty rates to 16.6 per cent and 8 per cent respectively by 2020. The government has also set its sight on bringing down the hardcore poverty to zero level by 2030, officials said.
According to GED data, absolute poverty or upper poverty rate is estimated at 23.6 per cent in 2015 and the hardcore poverty or lower poverty rate at 12.3 per cent.
The absolute poverty rate was 31.5 per cent and the hardcore poverty rate 17.6 per cent in 2010, the data showed.
Prof Alam, however, showed that around Tk 1315.3 billion would be required as ADP allocations for the transport sector under the 7th Five Year Plan (as per FY 2015-16 prices), while around Tk 846.5 billion would be required as ADP allocations for the power and energy sector under the new plan.
Speaking on the occasion, the LGRD Minister said the power and energy sector is playing a pivotal role in the country's economy and without these two sectors, the nation's development is unthinkable.
Regarding the growing demand for power, Mosharraf smilingly noted that the State Minister for Power and Energy might be in trouble unless there is 100 per cent electricity coverage in the country over the next three years.
Putting emphasis on upgrading the road geometric design to certain standards, the Minister said his Ministry is improving the geometry of the countrywide roads under the LGED to link upazila headquarters with district headquarters.
Expressing his concern over plying of overloaded vehicles on the roads and highways that cause loss of lives and properties, Khondoker Mosharraf Hossain suggested the Ministry of Planning form a high-powered committee with the Roads and Highways Department to ensure strict enforcement of necessary laws.
Noting that nature has started taking revenge due to the over exploitation of water, especially ground water, the LGRD Minister suggested taking steps to increase the water retention capacity of the countrywide rivers and water bodies so that the ground water is retained.
Housing and Public Works Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain put emphasis on utilizing local coal for utmost utilization of the energy resources, adding that the local coal by any means should not be exported abroad, rather it should be utilized domestically.
Mentioning that the Rajuk has been directed to approve design for constructing structures from this month at the Purbachal, Uttara and Jheelmeel areas, he said that the government would turn Purbachal into a self-contained independent city, perhaps as a green city.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal stressed the need for completing the development projects within the stipulated time to avert misuse of funds and resources as well as to check corruption.
According to the draft strategy for the transport sector under the 7th Five Year Plan, emphasis would be laid on timely completion of all ongoing roads and bridges projects, especially the ones relating to inter-city highways.
Besides, a number of transformational infrastructure investments including Padma Bridge, Deep Sea Port, MRT-6 project, LNG terminal and the Paira Port projects would be fast-tracked.