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Bangladesh - June 10, 2023

Finishing 314 projects main challenge of govt

Special Correspondent: The challenge is to complete 314 development projects in the next financial year 2023-24. Under the Annual Development Program (ADP), the ministries and departments have promised to implement these projects by June 2024.
Accordingly, the Planning Commission has also given highest priority to the projects in allocating funds. But this target was not met in any previous financial year. As a result, the stakeholders have expressed apprehension about whether the target of project implementation will be met in the next financial year as well.
When asked about this, Planning Minister MA Mannan said that the project cannot be declared completed by force. But why the same thing is happening every financial year will be analyzed; Will check. In response to the question why this is happening again and again, he said, we are trying from the Planning Commission. However, the real responsibility lies with the relevant ministries and departments.
According to sources, in the original ADP for the current financial year (2022-23), the number of such potentially eligible projects was 280. However, it increased to 318 during the preparation of the revised ADP.
However, there are doubts about how much the target will be achieved in the end. Because many projects have already begun the process of extending the period without increasing the cost.
A review of the new ADP shows that among the projects likely to be completed in the next financial year, there are 257 investment projects, 30 survey projects, 18 technical assistance projects and 9 self-financed projects. The road transport sector has the highest number of investment projects on the list of possible completions. This number is 49. Besides, 15 in local government and rural development sector, 25 in environment-climate change and water resource sector, 42 in housing and community facilities sector, two in general government service sector, seven in public order and service sector and seven projects in industrial and economic services sector, 23 in agriculture sector, There are six projects in power and energy sector, 46 in health sector, six in religion-culture and entertainment sector, one in education, nine in social security and 18 in science and information technology sector.
Apart from these investment projects, there are 18 feasibility study project completion targets. There are 29 technical assistance projects and nine self-financing projects of autonomous institutions. In this context, the Secretary of Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Department (IMED) Abul Kashem Mohiuddin told that there are many reasons behind this. But it cannot be said that there is no negligence. At the same time there is a lack of skills. Besides, taking project based on assumptions without feasibility study and fixing the implementation time is also responsible in this case. We are trying to get work plan. So that they implement the project accordingly. Sometimes the term has to be extended.
A perusal of reports published by IMED at various times shows that earlier it was estimated that 355 projects would be completed by the beginning of the financial year 2021-22. Of these, 321 were investment projects, 30 were technical assistance projects and four were self-financed projects by autonomous institutions. A target of completion of 378 projects has been set in the Revised ADP (RADP) after reducing 23 projects mid-way. Among them, 322 investment projects, 37 technical assistance projects and 19 self-financed projects. But finally, 294 projects have been implemented. Out of this list, 42 projects have been completed. In this financial year, the total completed projects stand at 336. But here too there is a problem. Only 150 projects were declared complete after 100% completion. The work on the remaining 186 projects has been completed although there is some remaining work.
Besides, 439 development projects were scheduled for completion in the revised ADP for the financial year 2020-21. Out of this, 236 projects have been completed at the end of the financial year. The remaining 203 projects are added to the ADP of the next financial year. However, a total of 264 projects were completed in this financial year, including 28 which were out of the list. Of these, 140 projects have been fully completed. While some work remains, 124 projects have been completed at various stages.
Besides, 305 projects were scheduled for completion in the financial year 2019-20. But finally, 141 projects were completed. Remaining 164 projects continue. A total of 182 projects were completed in this financial year including 41 outside the target. However, only 90 projects have been fully completed. Similarly, 346 development projects were scheduled for the end of the financial year 2018-19. Of these, 245 have been completed. Apart from this, a total of 312 projects were completed including 67 which were outside the target. Out of this, only 155 projects have completed 100% work.
Former Planning Secretary Mamun-al-Rashid said that the main problem is the lack of oversight. Projects need strict monitoring from the beginning. There is no alternative to vigorous monitoring of projects that are deemed to be completed. Here there is irresponsibility of the project concerned. At the same time accountability must be ensured. It needs to be repeatedly urged by the Ministry of Planning. So that the ministries and departments increase the monitoring activities.

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