Wednesday, 8 December, 2021

Remove barriers to PPP project

For accelerating the development of the country, the government has prioritised the Public Private Partnership framework to increase investments in infrastructure from around 2% to 6% of the GDP. But, the lead story of this newspaper's yesterday issue has revealed that the PPP initiative is yet to reach its goal mainly due to financing problem. As to why, the government has failed to deliver to its citizens much needed social and economic public infrastructure services and fulfil its commitment of meeting its social obligations and development imperatives which is frustrating indeed!

Earlier, the PPP authorities reportedly signed MoUs with a number of banks and financial institutions for financing partnership but, regrettably, only a few of them came up with the project financing. The financing partnership initiative proved not that much productive. The PPP projects will not progress if the financing procedural process is not addressed. Financing is the most important part of the PPP projects and the issue should be resolved from the very beginning of the project launching. Prior to signing new MoUs, the causes of failure of the previous MoUs should be investigated; otherwise, fresh MoUs will remain in papers only and will be of no good for the public.

Only increasing the list of projects cannot be fruitful. The PPP authorities should refrain itself from selecting bad projects as it could lower the effectiveness of work. It is an imperative to identify the PPP projects which are beneficial to the country. All banks and financial institutions, including Bangladesh Bank as well as other stakeholders, should come forward with necessary changes in the conventional banking system to provide required funds to the projects. The ministries concerned should also come forward so that the issues facing the PPP projects can be addressed.

However, there is still a ray of hope on the other end of the tunnel. Japan and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation have expressed their keen interest in investing on the country's PPP projects.

The relevant authorities should take initiatives to remove the project barriers and build up relations with all concerned before integration.