With the next general elections coming up, the government is investing billions of taka in the country's infrastructure development.
The members of parliament (MPs) are receiving Tk 6.65 billion in alocations to renovate and construct mosques, prayer grounds, graveyards, Hindu temples, crematoriums, churches, and Buddhist temples in their respective constituencies.
The Local Government Division is to implement the Universal Social Infrastructure Development project at a cost of Tk 6.65 billion. The government would provide the funds from its own resources.
The project has been approved at meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today (Wednesday).
Another two projects in the pipeline would cost Tk 26.88 billion.
The projects have been taken up ahead of the national election to be held in 2019 as the tenure of the current government will be end in January.
Local government expert Tofail Ahmed told Prothom Alo that the projects have been planned to assist the MPs in gaining public favour.
He said, generally the local government provides funds for such development work.
He also said MPs are supposed to formulate laws in parliament, not take up such projects.
Such projects will distract the MPs from their actual duties.
According the project proposal, the local MPs will consult the local upazila chairmen and union parishad chairmen to draw up lists of the religious establishments in their respective areas.
The local government’s engineering department will provide support in this regard. The enlisted institutions will get at least Tk 5 million each.
The three-year projects are scheduled to be completed by 2020.
At least Tk 4.15 billion will be provided for the work in the first two years of the projects.
Asked about the projects, planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Tuesday said the MPs will prepare the list of the institutions with the help of the local people representatives.
“We want to modernise the religious institutions,” the minister added.
*The article, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla print edition, has been rewritten in English by Toriqul Islam