Undue delay in the implementation of projects under Annual Development Programme is suicidal for the national economy, particularly at a time when the country is striving hard for reaching a middle income status. Thus the project implementation needs to come out of chronic delays and be speeded up.
A number of factors are liable for unusual delay of project execution. In our case, mainly poor efficiency of the project implementation agencies are responsible. But the complex and time consuming procedure of releasing allocated funds for projects is no less responsible for failure in completing projects on time. This sluggish procedure multiplies project costs and retards the development pace. Any such state of affairs is completely at variance with our present need.Under the now-defunct fund release and utilisation directory, a very complex and time consuming procedure was followed for releasing project money. When the funds are released at long last, much of the valuable time for project execution is lost. What happens next is that quality of project implementation is compromised in a futile attempt to complete the job within the remaining period.
To overcome this recurring phenomenon and spur project implementation, the government has taken a prudent decision of making fund release quicker and less cumbersome. Under the new provision, the project money will be treated as automatically released and project directors will be able to spend the money.
The logic behind the lengthy process of fund release under the previous provisions was to ensure accountability and transparency in project expenditure. Experience say, the time consuming process could hardly prevent misappropriation of fund in project implementation. And, moreover, delaying project execution or leaving projects unimplemented under any pretext is unacceptable. No doubt, embezzlement of project funds should be prevented by any means but surely not at the cost of the projects themselves.