Revised ADP be practical01 March 2014
'FINANCE ministry proposed, but the planning ministry opposed' - a row continues between the two ministries over fixing revised annual development programme (ADP) of the current fiscal, reported a local English daily on Thursday. Meanwhile, ADP implementation during the first 7 months of the current fiscal (FY2013-14) was about 33 percent as against 38 per cent during the corresponding period of last fiscal (2012-13). It records a major setback due to the months-long political unrest including shutdowns, blockades and violence centering around the Jan 5 election. Only 15 percent of the total ADP allocation of Tk. 658.70 billion for the FY2013-14 has been spent during the last five months. The finance ministry proposed to revise the current ADP size to Tk. 55,000 crore, down by 16.5 percent or Tk. 10,000 crore, from this year's original outlay claiming poor performance in revenue earnings and gloomy foreign aid disbursement situation. On the contrary, the planning ministry argues that the scaling down from the allocation of planning tool may lower the GDP growth in the current fiscal.Meanwhile, the development partners pledged funding $ 1.29 billion less than that of the corresponding period of last fiscal which results a plunge by 41 percent in foreign aid commitments in the first seven months of the current fiscal. Major donors like the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Japan, the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and the USAID signed no significant financing deals during the last July-Jan period due to mainly political turmoil and a lack of confidence as the incumbent government got re-elected through a controversial election. Besides, the revenue earning target has already been downsized by Tk. 11,900 crore as both NBR and non-NBR revenue earning during the first half of the current fiscal fell short nearly Tk. 10,000 crore from the set targets. Thus, it is evident that the government borrowing may increase to maintain the fiscal development pledges. The major factors contributing to slow pace in ADP implementation are inefficiency of the government machinery, weak monitoring and implementation-related problems such as procurement, land acquisition, and above all political influence along with corrupt bureaucratic hassle at different phases of ADP implementation. According to IMED, the designated wing which evaluates ADP implementation of the Planning Commission, fund misappropriation and fraud in the development projects are also responsible for poor ADP execution.However, the success of ADP depends on timely and proper implementation of the government's development policies, programmes and investment plan. Therefore, all concerned, including executing ministries/ divisions/ agencies, need to be more vigilant and active to prevent any delay in project implementation. To streamline the development pledges of the government, the Planning Commission should select priority projects to maximise the benefits in terms of output and ensure efficient management through discussions among all stakeholders, including the donors. Political manipulation of the government fund, corruption and misappropriation of funds should be checked to uphold the public trusts to the development initiatives.