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Cost of post office rehab project rises four times

Published : Tuesday, 9 July, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 73

In a sudden move the government has decided to increase the cost of a project for post office rehabilitation and renovation by at least four times.
The initial cost of the project was estimated at Tk 48 crore but the telecommunication ministry recently sent the renewed project proposal to the planning commission for approval at a cost of Tk 225 crore.  
The postal department has initially proposed rehabilitation and renovation of 79 post offices across the country but later it increased the number to 267 and so the request for cost approval has also gone up by about four-folds.
Moreover the average rehabilitation cost for each post office has also gone up from Tk 60.76 to Tk 84.29 to send the total cost to four times high.  The Post and telecommunication department will implement the project by June 2021. The project will be apprised by the pre-evaluation committee (PEC) of the planning commission before giving final approval.
Shamima Nargis, member of the Planning Commission said under the project a total of 267 post offices will be rehabilitated to improve infrastructure and the outfit to give them better look to provide better services.
She said post offices will be rehabilitated mainly to be capable to provide better services to senior citizens and women. The society is changing and so the face of the post offices should also be improved to accommodate the socio-economic change, she said.
The government took the project in 2017 and 35 percent of the project has so far been implemented.  
According to project proposal (DPP) the cost of the project has increased by Tk 177.6 crore because of inclusion of more post offices and also for higher cost in renewed cost estimates.   Instead of 79 post offices 267 post offices have been included in the project.  
Meanwhile, the government has decided to strengthen sales of national saving certificates from rural post office across the country.
It has already set up online management system for saving certificates from July 1. This is one reason post offices are going for face up-liftment, some sources said.  

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