Published in The Daily Observer on Sunday, 12 June 2016

Spending spree for quick ADP execution

Mizanur Rahman

At the last leg of this fiscal year, a spending spree is going on for quick implementation of the Annual Development Programme, leading to spoil of money and corruption, according to a highly placed source.

ADP witnessed execution of merely 51 per cent or Tk 48,208 crore expenditure in the first ten months of the current fiscal year. Such implementation was 56 per cent during July-April period a year ago.

Planning Commission has spent Tk 767.78 crore a day in the last two months for the purpose. As a result, a huge amount of money is being wasted and the progress in different project works is not good.

Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) told the Daily Observer: “At the beginning of a financial year, ministries and divisions show the least interest in ADP execution. But at the end of the year they spend the budget quickly, which badly affects project quality.”

He said, “Project expenditure goes high, so is the expansion of project tenure. Project implementation authorities should have special plan for disbursement and project completion.”

IMED data show Cabinet Division achieved the highest 123 per cent implementation rate during July-April, while Planning Division makes the lowest-7 per cent.

The Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division is under the Planning Ministry.

The ministries and divisions that marked better implementation include Local Government Division (63 per cent), Power Division (61 per cent), Primary and Mass Education Ministry (55 per cent), Education Ministry (48 per cent), Agriculture Ministry (61 per cent), Home Ministry (58 per cent), Shipping Ministry (42 per cent) and Religious Affairs Ministry (55 per cent).

The implementation rate of other ministries and divisions are: Housing and Public Works Ministry (41 per cent), Information Ministry (45 per cent), Bridges Division (41 per cent), Railways Ministry (46 per cent), Health and Family Welfare Ministry (38 per cent), Energy and Mineral Resources Division (55 per cent), Water Resources Ministry (44 per cent), Science and Technology Ministry (63 per cent), Industries Ministry (18 per cent), Election Commission Secretariat (21 per cent), Environment and Forests Ministry (52 per cent) and Internal Resources Division (17 per cent).

Dr Zahid Hossain, Chief Economist at World Bank’s Dhaka office, said, “The number of projects taken up this fiscal year is more than the projects required, as usual, of which some are small ones. Such projects are taken up for political motive, so, there is no speed in project implementation.”

He also pointed out that project directors finish their work quickly at the end of the fiscal year, resulting in a huge loss.

Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal insisted that decades-old problems relating to land acquisition, frequent changes of project directors and complexities in procurement, lengthy project approval process, delay in take-off and incapacity of line ministries needed to be solved to accelerate the pace of ADP implementation.




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