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Bigger ADP, poorer implementation

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05th-Jan-2017       
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THE annual development programme (ADP) is quite slow as the Planning Minister himself said on Tuesday after half yearly review of the progress under fiscal 2016-17. The overall performance is around 26 percent in six months and looking separately at the 10 major priority ministries with highest allocation such as for power and energy sector, bridges, roads and highways and projects under local government division, the dismal progress is just around 30 percent. Big ADP with poor performance is quite misleading and it makes no sense except to show that the government is going after big development. But such policy of the government without the capacity to deliver is ending in massive corruption and enormous waste of budgetary resources.

The country is now enjoying relatively peaceful political environment but why even the major priority projects as reported on a national daily on Wednesday are trailing behind without significant progress is the biggest question. It appears that the overall progress in ADP implementation this year is below 28 percent that took place in six months during the tumultuous political year in 2014-15. We know along with poor leadership of the government inefficient government machinery is equally responsible for the setback. Meanwhile, massive corruptions, misuses of fund and poor mobilization of projects activities controlled by highly politicized administrative machinery are equally to be blamed for poor project implementation. 
 
It is true as the Minister has said although the rate of implementation is comparatively low this year from previous year; the government is implementing a bigger budget and has already released more funds. He is also right when he said bringing speed to project implementation overnight is quite difficult. But we must see that changes are taking place to plug the loopholes draining out budgetary resources. The government is implementing the ADP this year at a cost of Tk 1,23346 crore with a total of 750 projects listed under 10 priority ministries over which is 72.88 percent of the allocation. But their implementation below 30 percent of the budget is dismaying.
 
We know the ADP implementation suffers from massive irregularities. The budget office claims over 90 percent of implementation at the year-end when much of the development work is not visible in the ground. The latest progress report makes no difference either. What is quite alarming is that dishonest people at all level of the government are siphoning the bulk of the budgetary fund in collaboration of contractors and supply agents.

We must say there must be far reaching changes in cost computation and in the system of disbursement of fund against ADP projects. Priority projects are taking the bulk of the budget depriving other socio-economic projects but half done projects or gross misuse of funds in the name of priority projects can't give us the desired development.  


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