Mannan frustrated over PDs absence on project sites

Staff Correspondent

18 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Mannan frustrated over PDs absence on project sites

Planning Minister MA Mannan speaks at the inaugural ceremony of Global Security Symposium and Cyber Sentinels Awards 2019 at a city hotel on Sunday. -SUN PHOTO

Planning Minister MA Mannan has expressed concern over the project directors’ absence on project sites, clear violation of the prime minister’s directive.

In an Annual Development Programme (ADP) review meeting with the secretaries of different ministries on Sunday, Mannan reiterated that the project directors won’t be allowed to take the charge of more than one project.

“There was a clear directive from the premier that PDs (Project Directors) would stay on sites, but many did not comply with the direction. They monitor projects, staying in Dhaka,” Mannan resented the fact at a post-meeting press conference.

“We will place the issue before the prime minister. PDs have to own the projects and stay very close to the project sites.”

The minister said he had asked the secretaries to accelerate the execution of projects under ADP this year.

In a review meeting on Khulna Division projects held in Khulna last week, Mannan said one project director cannot be tasked with more than one project.

The minister said this after he found absence of PDs on some key project sites. Besides, Mannan listed a number of problems hindering the project implementation including that of land acquisition and delay in processing foreign loan.

Terming the land-related issues a major problem for ADP project implementations, the minister said he held talks with the land secretary on how to find solution to such problems.

Mannan identified the lack of coordination between Economic Relations Division (ERD) and the development partners.

The issue is seriously hindering the aided project implementation, he observed, asking the ERD officials to increase coordination with the development partners.

The review meeting on the current 2018-19 fiscal’s ADP was held at a time when ADP implementation slightly improved in the first seven months while the utilisation of project assistance fell.

Till January this year, implementing agencies have so far managed to spend Tk62,282 crore or 34.43 percent of Tk 1,80,869 crore ADP outlay, up from the last fiscal’s Tk54,718 crore or 33.35 percent in July-January period.

Local resources share in the latest ADP spending was higher at Tk36,624 crore or 32.41 percent, up from last year’s 30.02 percent, while foreign money utilisation rate slipped both in terms of percentage and amount.

The utilisation of project assistance fell to Tk22,526 crore or 37.54 percent from Tk23,336 crore or 38.63 percent a year ago.

Planning Secretary Nurul Amin, new Member of Planning Commission Asif-uz-Zaman and Statistics and Informatics Division (SID) Secretary Saurendra Nath Chakrabhartty were present at the press meet.