UNB, Dhaka : Cabinet Purchase Committee on Monday approved six (6) proposals including appointment of a private firm to issue machine readable passports (MRPs) among 600,000 Bangladeshi expatriates in Malaysia. The committee’s nod to the proposals came from a meeting, attended by senior ministers, with Finance Minister AMA Muhith in the chair. According to the proposal, the private firm – Data-edge-i-people Consortium – will charge US$ 18 for distributing each MRP to Bangladeshi citizen living in the East Asian country. Through the job under the project, the Data-edge will get US$ 10.8 million (equivalent to Tk 84.24 crore) from the Bangladeshi expatriates in Malaysia. To execute the project, the private IT firm has to set up eight centres in Malaysia where Bangladeshi expatriates will apply for MRPs. These centres will then send data to the Department of Immigration and Passports in Dhaka through online. Under the arrangement, the Passport Office will send the MRPs to Bangladesh Mission in Malaysia and the selected IT firm will distribute the passports among the expatriates. As per the direction of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the government must provide all Bangladeshi expatriates with MRPs by March 2015. The day’s Cabinet body meeting rejected a proposal of seven (7) packages from the Water Resources Ministry on protection of left bank of Padma River at Ishwardi point of Pabna and some points in Natore districts finding some flaws in the tender process. However, the committee asked the ministry to rectify the errors and approve it on its own authority. The other proposals, approved by the Cabinet body, include the appointment of a consultant at a contract value of Tk 108 crore to supervise the design and construction works of Jaydevpur-Chandra-Tangail-Elenga Highway up-gradation project to facilitate corridor facilities to neighbouring countries. The Communications Ministry took up the project in line with the plan of the South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC). This highway will also be utilized as part of Asian Highway-2 and Asian Highway-41. An import proposal of Food Ministry to procure 50,000 metric tons of wheat from international market received the nod of the Cabinet body. UK-based Phoenix Commodities will supply the bulk wheat at a rate of US$ 305.60 per metric ton. Of the supply, 60 percent will come through Chittagong port while 40 percent through Mongla port. Appointment of five (5) berth operators for Chittagong Port’s GCB area at a contract value of Tk 89.98 crore for three years under the Shipping Ministry and import of eight (8) transformers for rural electrification project by the Power Ministry also received the approval of the Cabinet Purchase Committee.