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Hotel opening at Jashore tech park dorm worries entrepreneurs

Hotel opening at Jashore tech park dorm worries entrepreneurs Reported by Rexo News:

Entrepreneurs say they would have no options left than to leave if commercial activities continue occupy the park

29 January, 2023, 11:00 am

Last modified: 29 January, 2023, 11:04 am

Sheikh Hasina Software & Technology Park in Jashore. Photo: Collected


Sheikh Hasina Software & Technology Park in Jashore. Photo: Collected


  • Jashore Software Technology Park was established in 2017
  • The government spent around Tk305 crore for it
  • Techcity, a private company, manages the park as a third party
  • The company is building a hotel and resort at the park for commercial purposes
  • It also arranges social events such as weddings to earn money
  • Entrepreneurs are leaving the park due to lack of benefits

The government set up the Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park in Jashore in 2017 to develop ICT industries and to create entrepreneurs in the southwestern region of the country.

But that goal has lost its way in only five years.

On 26 January, Techcity, the company in charge of managing the park, opened a three-star hotel and resort in the park for commercial purposes.

People concerned alleged the move will undermine the business environment of the park and discourage entrepreneurs from investing there.

An entrepreneur in the park told The Business Standard on condition of anonymity, “We have come here for IT business. Only the IT people should stay here. But the authorities are opening a hotel and resort. Now, the entrepreneurs would have no other way than to leave the park.”

“Techcity is managing the park as a third party. They do not care who stays here or not. If the government took direct control of the park, the purpose for which it was built would have been actualized,” he added.

Officials of Techcity said they have transformed the dormitory of the ICT park into a hotel and resort in partnership with Khan Properties to recover their losses. A part of the resort will be built beside the lake in the ICT park premise.

Harun Ur Rashid, CEO of Techcity, said, “We are building the hotel and resort to make the park more suitable for foreign and local investors.”

Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority Managing Director Bikarna Kumar Ghosh said, “We want to have a wonderful resort in this park. The lake here will be made beautiful. There will be speed boats in the lake too. It should not be a problem. It will benefit both the investors and the visitors.”

Meanwhile, IT experts and academicians have criticised the decision of building a hotel and resort at the ICT park. They say it will derail the Prime Minister’s vision of a digital Bangladesh.

Khalid Saifullah, CEO of Avo Technology, told The Business Standard, “Many investors of the country are running their business in this park. It is bad news for them. This is the first software technology park in the country. If it becomes a hotel and resorts then it will be a big mistake.”

Nazrul Islam Khan, former education secretary who played a significant role in establishing the ICT park, said, “It is sad news that the ICT park is being used to host wedding ceremonies. Building a hotel and resort is also unacceptable.”

Professor Anwar Hossain, vice-chancellor of Jashore University of Science and Technology, said, “It is the country’s first Software Technology Park named after the Prime Minister. It should remain as a park for the development of the ICT sector.”

There are also allegations that the park authorities are now more busy hosting social events such as weddings, birthdays etc than creating a friendly environment for the ICT entrepreneurs. As a result, many entrepreneurs have already left the park and those who are still there are struggling.

An entrepreneur said on condition of anonymity, “There is an auditorium in the cafeteria of the park. But it is mostly used for social events such as weddings than for technology-related seminars.”

According to sources, the park has completely failed to attract foreign investors which was one of the goals of it. Only one foreign company had invested here. But it left the park last year.

Among the 33 companies initially contracted with the Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority 22 have already closed their business in the park. Most of the remaining 11 companies are struggling to survive.

Techcity officials said 55 companies have allotted space in the ICT park and 48 are now currently running businesses. Among them, only nine companies are involved in software development and marketing. The other companies are involved in e-commerce, call centres, internet service providing, digital marketing etc.

Entrepreneurs complain they initially signed a deal with the Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority to allot space in the park. But the agreement did not mention that a third party would manage it.

Sources said the government is getting only 18% and Techcity around 82% of the income of the park. Currently, the company is charging rents of Tk17.26 to Tk24 per sqft from the entrepreneurs.

There are also complaints about the electricity bill. Techcity is collecting the electricity bill at Tk14 per unit while the government rate is Tk10 per unit.

Shah Jalal, general secretary of the park’s investors association, said, “The rent is relatively high in the Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park. The electricity bill is also very high. We have repeatedly requested the authorities to reduce this electricity bill. They said they are working on it.”



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