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Bangladesh - 3 weeks ago

ADP overburdened with 3,000 projects

Zarif Mahmud: As the financial crisis was prolonged, the size of ADP was not increased much. In the next financial year (2024-25) budget, the annual development program (ADP) has increased by only Tk 2,000 crore compared to the last financial year. But the development project could not be reined. In all, the new ADP is being launched under the weight of 3,325 projects.
Meanwhile, economists are repeatedly insisting that projects can’t be taken for political reasons. They are urging to take up such projects that have a positive impact on the people and economy of the country. Meanwhile, Planning Minister Major General (Retd.) Abdus Salam also feels that more rigor is needed in project verification. He gave this opinion in the briefing held after the recent NEC meeting.
When asked, Senior Secretary of the Planning Department Satyajit Karmakar said that extensive scrutiny has been done in determining projects in the ADP for the next financial year. This is the first time that the project is decided by the selection committee.
So, this time the project was not added. However, it is not right to talk about the projects which are unapproved and unallocated. Because nearly 20 percent of project DPPs are prepared and approved from this green leaf throughout the financial year.
The remaining 80 percent are left. So, by adding all these, it will not be correct to estimate the number of projects as 3,000-4,000. If you calculate in this way, it will be conceptually wrong. He also said that this time the ministries and departments had sent about 2,200 projects. We’ve narrowed it down.

Bangladesh Development Research Institute (BIDS) former director general Mustafa K. Mujeri told that only taking projects does not lead to development. How much these projects have been reviewed in reality is a big question. Earlier we saw that many projects were prioritized by dividing them into different categories. This is undoubtedly a major weakness of the planning process. Because if it is unimportant, why are these projects included in the ADP? Again, the project is kept without allocation or with little allocation. As a result, those projects are never completed on time and on budget. As a result, thousands of crores of taka are wasted. Therefore, those projects which will not result in public welfare and economic outcomes, have to be rethought. Project selection should be coordinated with resources. A country can’t develop like this. Therefore, the development project selection process should be streamlined.
According to Planning Commission sources, there are 1,321 total projects with allocation in ADP of the next financial year. Among them, there are 1,133 investment projects, 87 technical assistance projects and 21 survey projects. Among the total projects, 1,277 projects have been transferred from the revised ADP of the current financial year. Of the rest, there are 60 newly sanctioned projects. Besides, 921 new projects have been added to the ADP of the next financial year but without approval and allocation. Besides, there are 257 new unapproved projects and 80 Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects to facilitate access to foreign funds. There are also 47 projects self-financed by autonomous bodies or corporations and 300 projects by the Climate Change Trust Fund. Besides, 395 expired projects which are in the revised ADP of the current financial year and will expire by next June are being transferred to the ADP of the financial year 2024-25 with an asterisk.
In this regard, former planning secretary Mamun-al-Rashid said, there is nothing wrong with having a little more project than the capacity. Because desire never equals ability. Desires always grow. As our development aspirations are large, there may be additional projects. However, from new unauthorized projects, strictness needs to be adopted during the approval process. Because the projects with higher outcomes should be considered.
In response to a question, he said, due to the financial crisis, the ongoing projects have been divided into ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ categories; In this case, ‘C’ category projects are almost closed. As a result, the cost and duration of these projects may increase. Therefore, all parties need to decide whether these projects will continue or be stopped. Because some money has been allocated and spent in these projects. So, the issue of wastage should be kept in mind.

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