Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Wednesday said that public procurement has made tremendous progress in Bangladesh and the country has been doing reasonably well in this area.
"I personally feel that we're doing reasonably well in this area (public procurement). In public procurement, there should be competitiveness, there should be chance for everybody to participate in it and the process should be open and transparent," he said while formally launching a new project this evening.
The Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) under the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) of the Ministry of Planning, launched the new project titled, “Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP)” at the Radisson Blu Water Garden.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith graced the launching as Chief Guest, while it was chaired by Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal.
World Bank Country Director Qimiao Fan, and Director, Governance Global Practice, World Bank Vinay Sharma, spoke as Special Guests.
Secretary of Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division Md Mofizul delivered the Opening Remarks. Director General of CPTU Md Faruque Hossain made a power-point presentation on the objective and components of the new project.
The Finance Minister said that in the early period after the independence, the country faced quite a number of problems regarding public procurement as there were serious problems regarding the capacity on procurement and the problem impeded the rate of progress.
With the passage of time and various initiatives of the government, the process of public procurement has made tremendous progress, noted Muhith.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in his speech said that the aim of the present government is that public procurement would be transparent so that there is no wastage of public fund here and there.
Terming Bangladesh as a different country compared to the past, AHM Mustafa Kamal, commonly known as Lotus Kamal, also expressed his hope that by the year 2041, the people of Bangladesh would be in the main frame, not in the sidelines, as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already announced to turn Bangladesh into a developed country by 2041.
World Bank Country Director Qimiao Fan said that globally Bangladesh is now known for reducing poverty and for unleashing development adding launching of this project marks a milestone in the country's procurement and modernization process.
The World Bank top country official hoped that this project would help reduce project implementation delay and improve implementation quality. "Today I believe Bangladesh has a very good foundation on public procurement with all the necessary legal framework,"
Highlighting the importance of checking wastage in public procurement, Fan said that the country usually spends around $10 billion annually for public procurement and if one percent of that amount could be saved from wastage, then it would be possible to build additional 1000 kilometer of rural roads and a good number of schools.
The CPTU under the IMED of the Ministry of Planning will implement the DIMAPPP with an overall estimated cost of $60 million by June 2022. Of the total project cost, the IDA, the concessionary arm of the World Bank, will provide $ 55 million while the rest of $ 5 million will come from the state exchequer.
The main objective of the project is to improve overall public procurement management in the country. The project has four components. These are: Restructuring CPTU and Institutionalizing e-GP, Enhancing Digitization of Public Procurement, Professionalization of Procurement and Citizen Engagement (CE), and Digitizing Project Implementation Monitoring.
CPTU is implementing the e-GP to enhance transparency, accountability and competition in public procurement. There are 1300 government procuring agencies in the country. Up to October 25, 2017, a total of 5,201 procuring agencies were connected to the e-GP system.
Earlier, the Finance Minister formally launched the new website of CPTU while an MoU was signed between LGED and CPTU.