BSS, Dhaka : The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) yesterday approved 13 development projects involving a total of Taka 9,110 crore including learning and earning development project which has aimed at creating 55,000 freelancers at the grassroots level. The approval came at its meeting held at the NEC conference room in city’s Sher-e-Banglanagar with Prime Minister and ECNEC Chairperson Sheikh Hasina in the chair. Planning Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal briefed the newsmen about its outcome. He said the meeting has approved a total of 13 projects with cost of Taka 9,110 crore. “Of the total cost, Taka 3,649 will come from the national exchequer while Taka 5,461 crore will come from the project assistance,” he added. The Learning and Earning Development Project will require a cost of Taka 180 crore. Under the project, a total of 55,000 freelancers will be created at the grassroots level across the country. Of the total people, 20,000 women would be given basic IT training at Upazila level. Later, in phases entrepreneurs would be created from the freelancers. ICT secretary Nazrul Islam Khan said the creating of freelancers project would initiate a new era in the country as the young people of villages would get opportunity to earn foreign currency through outsourcing, which will make them self- dependent. Apart from the ICT project, the ECNEC approved three big projects from Power Sector. The Power sector project “Extension of Barapukuria Coal Fired Thermal Power Station by 275 MW (3rd Unit)” at establishing a 3rd 275 Megawatt unit as an extension of the existing 250 Magawatt Barapukuria coal-fired thermal power nation. The Project cost is Taka 2,688 core of which taka 1,836 crore would come from China Industrial and commercial Bank as buyer’s credit. The total Project cost also includes Taka 648 crore GoB fund and Taka 204 crore BPDB own fund. The Project is expected to be completed by November 2017. The other power sector project approved in the meeting is “Chapainawabgonj 100 MW HFO Based Power Plant”. Under the project a 100 Megawatt HFO based power plant Chapainababgonj Sadar with a cost of Taka 1,114 crore. The Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) would provided a credit of Taka 893 crore for the project while the government and BPDB would provide Taka 146 crore and Taka 75 crore respectively. ECNEC also gives nod to another Power Division project with a cost of Taka 55 crore aiming at constructing the proposed Khulna coal based power plant connecting road. The other projects approved in the meeting are: “Secondary education quality and access enhancement project” (Taka 3401 crore, GoB Taka 698 crore and PA Taka 2703); Innovative Management of Resources for Poverty Alleviation Through Comprehensive Technology (IMPACT): Phase- 2) project” (Taka 38 crore-GoB); “Construction of Small Bridges/Culverts (up to 12m long) at Chittagong Hill Tracts Region (2nd Phase)” (Taka 133 crore-GoB); “Greater Mymensing Rural Infrastructure Development project” (Taka 444 crore-GoB); “Construction of 4 bridges at Bakshigonj and Dewangonj Upazilla of Jamalpur district” (Taka 152 crore-GoB); “Water supply in 37 district city (1st revised)” (Taka 754 crore-GoB); “Replacement and modernization of Signaling and interlocking system of 3 stations under Ashugonj-Akhaura (Taka 40 crore, GoB taka 10 crore and PA taka 30 crore”. “Bangladesh Railway Khulna station & yard remodeling and Benapole railway station operational facilities development (1st revised) project” (Taka 76 crore-GoB) and “Mirzapur (Gorai)-Shakhipur road development (revised) Project” (taka 36 crore-GoB). Ministers, Members of the Planning Commission, Secretaries and Officials concerned were present in the meeting.