The status of ADP (Annual Development Programme) implementation on the part of several ministries and divisions that have received large ADP allocations is dire, a recent report released by the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) of the Ministry of Planning reveals.
It noted that all ministries have spent a total of Tk30,652 crore between July and October to implement ADP projects, which is a minuscule 14.25 percent of the total ADP allocation of Tk2,15,114 crore.
IMED data show a near consistency in ADP implementation over the past few years. The figures relating to implementation were 13.75 percent during the same period in the last fiscal year and 14.51 percent in the year before that, respectively.
IMED sources have said 15 large ministries are implementing more than a thousand projects with an allocation of Tk1.74 lakh crore, which is more than 81 percent of the total ADP allocation, and overall implementation depends on the performance of these ministries.
Of the 15, the implementation rate of nine agencies is below the national average of 14.25 percent.
As an instance, the Ministry of Railways has spent Tk439.14 crore in the first four months of the current fiscal year, which is only 3.63 percent of the total allocation. To implement 35 development projects, the ministry has a total allocation of Tk12,110.81 crore, which gives it the fifth position among 58 ministries, divisions and agencies in terms of allocation.
Railways Secretary Mofazzal Hossain told The Business Standard that the ministry began implementing projects in full swing following initial preparations.
"Overall implementation will increase after the payment of some bills relating to work that has been completed," he said.
Mofazzal said a major portion of the amount of the ministry has been allocated for two projects, the Padma rail link and Cox's Bazar rail line.
"Both projects have some problems with land acquisition," he said.
In the opinion of government officials and analysts, overall ADP implementation status has been going around in the same circle for several years due to the failure of large ministries and divisions. And that has been the reality despite some initiatives by the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Finance.
The initiatives include disbursing the full allocation at the beginning of the fiscal year, division-level visits of the planning minister, the IMED secretary holding discussions with district-level officials through video conferences, bilateral and trilateral meetings with implementing agencies and even with donor agencies, inspection of various projects at regular intervals, and special monitoring of priority projects through a fast-track committee.
These initiatives, however, have had no significant impact on expediting ADP implementation.
Sources at the Ministry of Planning said the ministry arranged an inter-ministerial meeting in the beginning of the current fiscal year to analyse ADP implementation of the previous year and to devise ways of achieving 100 percent implementation rate this year.
As only 10 ministries are handling about two-thirds of the total ADP, Planning Minister MA Mannan emphasized accelerating the implementation of the projects of those ministries.
The minister told The Business Standard that the government wants to implement 100 percent of the ADP within the current fiscal year, but some large ministries had not responded as early as they had been expected to.
"We are trying to accelerate ADP implementation through several meetings and also field visits," he said.
For his part, IMED Secretary Abul Mansur Md Faizullah expressed his disappointment at the non-cooperation of other ministries. He said plans for implementing the ADP in three months had been sought from all ministries, but only a few responded.
Dr Salehuddin Ahmed, former governor of Bangladesh Bank, said development programmes in Bangladesh have complexities because large programmes are taken up without any feasibility studies and assessments of real demand.
"Most ADP projects need to meet political demands and the authorities concerned do not have the intention to complete those," he said, adding that pre-assessments before approval of new projects should be emphasised.
According to the IMED report, the Health Services Division has spent Tk777 crore, which is 8.73 percent of its total allocation of Tk8,901 crore.
ADP implementation of the Ministry of Industries was only 1.06 percent in the first four months of this fiscal year. The ministry spent Tk52.02 crore of the allocation of Tk4,928.45 crore.
The Ministry of Shipping spent Tk199.34 crore, which is 4.23 percent of the total allocation of Tk4,713.31 crore.
ADP implementation of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism is 1.73 percent. The ministry has spent Tk66.09 crore from the total allocation of Tk3,821.73 crore.
The Energy and Mineral Resources Division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources implemented 3.32 percent of the ADP, while the Power Division implemented 21.82 percent of its allocation.