ADB dissatisfied over delay in awarding contractsNazmul Ahsan
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) expressed its dissatisfaction over the delays in awarding contracts for projects involving nearly $500 million of its loan, urging the government to step up efforts and remove dozens of barriers it identified affecting unhindered implementation of projects.
The Manila-based organisation, the second largest multilateral lending agency after the World Bank (WB), provided $650 million yearly in low-cost loans to the country on an average for the last three years, mainly in infrastructure related projects, according to the estimates of Economic Relations Division (ERD).
‘33 per cent of the annual contract award target and 57 per cent of the disbursement target are achieved after 62 per cent of the year passed (2013). It is critical to step up efforts to ensure full achievement of projections and to minimize the number of projects in red and amber categories,’ reads a communication of the ADB made to the ERD last week.
Timely and pro-active addressing of project issues would minimize delays in the delivery of ‘project outcomes, and positively affect the performance based allocation of ADB funds.’
The lending agency has suggested introduction of Retainer Scheme for faster project implementation.
The ERD officials acknowledged the complexities in project implementations, but differed with the Bank’s observations of inordinate delays in contract awarding.
‘There remain some justified logics behind delays in implementing projects timely on our part. We cannot move as faster as the lending agencies normally expect in awarding contracts for development projects given the procedural complexities and bureaucratic inertia,’ a senior ERD official has told New Age.
He, however, said efforts are robust in recent period for ensuring faster project implementation.
The communication of the ADB mentioned 21 projects that have been rated ‘below than expectation’ in their process of awarding contracts, which are supposed to be completed by the end of the current year.
The projects in questions for their poor progress in awarding contracts include Ashuganj Power Station Efficiency Project involving $166 million, Upgrading of Khulna 150 MW to 225 MW Combined Cycle Power Plant with a estimated cost of $85 million, 132 KV Substations for $84 million, Drilling of Four Wells at a cost of $50 million, Construction of Water Reservoirs and Overhead Tanks for $21 million and Signaling at 11 Stations involving a sum of $16.50 million.
The Bank in its communication identified a good number of factors hindering the smooth operation of ADB-funded development projects.
Too complex project design, too many small contracts, lack of e-procurement, frequent change of project directors, lengthy procurement and manpower recruitment and lengthy process of Development Project Proposal are some of the major deterrents identified by the ADB for holding back the progress of smooth project implementations.
‘Lessons learnt from the project implementation is that too complex project designs do not work. Teams implementing complex projects need to proactively identify upcoming problems and restructure projects as appropriate and project processing team should avoid complexity in favour of robust and effective project design,’ suggests the Bank.
The communication said high turnover of counterpart staff including frequent change of project directors is hampering project progress. Provisions should be put in place to normally not transfer project directors and other key staff during project implementation.
The ADB suggested introduction of Retainer Scheme for faster project implementation.
‘Retainer Scheme (indefinite delivery contracts) where a pool of prequalified firms is established for specific services over a period of 5-7 years in sector/sectors may save a lot of time and efforts. ADB will explore if this can be implemented for selected sectors in Bangladesh,’ reads the communication.
The ERD officials said they were examining the pros and cons of Retainer Scheme proposal of the ADB as the proposal is new.
comments powered by Disqus
Dhaka once again protested at frequent incidents of killing and shooting on the frontier as the border forces of Bangladesh and India began a director-general level conference in Dhaka on Sunday. The Indian Border Security Force assured the Border Guard Bangladesh that they were trying to bring the incidents... Full story
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, on Sunday made it clear that no dialogue would take place until the Awami League-led government enacted a law in the current session of parliament for restoring the election-time ‘non-party’ government. Addressing a large public meeting at Rangpur... Full story
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) expressed its dissatisfaction over the delays in awarding contracts for projects involving nearly $500 million of its loan, urging the government to step up efforts and remove dozens of barriers it identified affecting unhindered implementation of projects. Full story
War crimes prosecutors on Sunday presented nine formal charges of crimes against humanity against detained Jamaat leader Abdus Subhan. Prosecutor Sultan Mahmud and other members of his team submitted the formal charges to the International... Full story
Bangladesh will pay over Tk 6 for each unit or kilowatt-hour of electricity to be imported from India. The cost of electricity has been estimated to open letters of credit for the payment of imported electricity to Indian state-run power authority NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam, a Power Development Board official told New Age. Full story
A US-Russian plan to remove Syria’s chemical weapons is a ‘victory’ that averts war, a Syrian minister said on Sunday, as Washington warned that the threat of US force ‘remains real’. ‘On one hand, it helps the Syrians emerge from the crisis and on the other it has allowed for averting war against... Full story
Home minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir on Sunday expressed concern over the uncertainty in the implementation of the 1974 Bangladesh-India Land Boundary Agreement. He broached the issue when Indian Border Security Force director general Subhash Joshi, leading a team, called on him at his secretariat office. Full story
Sajeeb Wazed Joy, son of the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Sunday urged people to re-elect the Awami League in the next general elections so that the incomplete revolution of 1971 could be accomplished and the party’s Vision: 2021 could be achieved. Full story
The minister for environment and forest, Hasan Mahmud, on Sunday told parliament that the Department of Environment was yet to give final nod to the proposed coal-based thermal power plant at Rampal and it would consider environmental impact of the project. Full story
Ruling alliance lawmakers on Sunday asked the westerners not to poke into internal affairs of Bangladesh. The made the observations during a discussion on democracy in the parliament marking the International Day of Democracy. Full story
The army will raise another infantry division in Sylhet on Tuesday, taking to eight the number of divisions in the force to ensure greater security in the north-east, officials said. The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, will officially announce the formation of the 17th Infantry Division, initially to be based at... Full story
Fire gutted an apparel factory in the capital’s Madartek area on Sunday afternoon. However, none was severely injured in the incident. The blaze broke out at the fifth level of Sisili Garments Factory Limited at Nandipara under Madartek in the capital on... Full story
The government issued approval to six more private universities taking to 24 the number of private universities approved in the past two years. The education ministry’s additional secretary (university) Salahuddin Akbar told New Age that the orders of approval... Full story
At least 27 miners in Afghanistan have been killed in a collapse in a coal mine, officials said on Sunday, in an accident likely to reinforce worries about a sector that many Afghans hope can underpin the country’s development. Full story
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Sunday called upon the members of the police force to earn confidence of the people by remaining professionally responsible and sympathized to the public. ‘The members of the police force are an abode... Full story
The father of Bishwajit Das, who was hacked to death by Bangladesh Chhatra League activists in the Old Dhaka on December 9, 2012, on Sunday demanded exemplary punishment for the ‘miscreants of Chhatra League’ for killing his son. Full story
A government gazette on Sunday notified the eighth wage board award raising the wages of journalists and other media employees by 75 per cent on an average. The highest monthly basic wage has been fixed at Tk 56,875, up from Tk 32,500 and the... Full story
The Jatiya Sangsad on Sunday passed the Bangla Academy Bill, 2013 aimed at making the existing law time befitting. Cultural affairs minister Abul Kalam Azad moved the bill in the House, which was later passed in voice votes. Full story
Two candidates — one from the ruling Awami League and the other from the Islami Andolan Bangladesh — will contest the by-elections for Barguna 2 parliamentary constituency. None of the Awami League candidate Shawkat Hachanur Rahman Rimon... Full story
At least five people were killed in a road accident in Kazirbazar area on Moulvibazar-Sylhet road in Moulvibazar on Sunday afternoon. The police and witnesses said a Moulvibazar-bound bus of Habiganj-Sylhet line collided on-head with a CNG-run... Full story