The government has suspended its initiative to form two new administrative divisions after the name of the rivers – Padma and Meghna – for the current fiscal year.
The decision comes following a meeting of the National Implementation Committee for Administrative Reforms (NICAR) on Sunday (27 November).
The meeting, held at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in Dhaka this afternoon, was chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Confirming the matter to The Business Standard, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque said, "The premier has instructed us to suspend the formation of the two new divisions as an austerity measure.
"There have been some queries raised regarding the funding needed in this regard. We are looking into the matter thoroughly."
According to meeting sources, at least Tk2,000 crore is needed initially to form the new divisions.
Besides, some 28 new government offices have to be set up in each division – the expense of which, considering the current economic situation of the country, will be very difficult to bear.
Thus, NICAR has decided against the proposal to upgrade Faridpur and Cumilla as two new divisions till June next year.
Earlier last year, the premier expressed her desire to form two new divisions after two rivers- one would be named after Padma and another after Meghna.
She first made the proposal on 21 October while opening the newly-constructed office Bhaban for Awami League's Cumilla City unit virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
Later, State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam informed that the districts under greater Cumilla will be named Meghna Division and the greater Faridpur as Padma Division.
Currently, there are eight administrative divisions in the country. These are Dhaka, Chattogram, Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal, Sylhet, Rangpur and Mymensingh.