Tuesday, 15th June, 2021
Tuesday, 15th June, 2021

Why ADP funds remain unexpended

The Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) of the Ministry of Planning mechanically oversees the progress of the ADP. It is not clear who fell behind for which reason and whether there is any connection with corruption
The inability and inefficiency in the implementation of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) has been discussed for many years. But this time, even after three months of the financial year, it is disappointing that 6 important departments of the government could not spend even 1 per cent of the allocated funds. Those who are in charge of managing these departments need to be accountable in this regard. This practice of accountability is systematically absent from the entire ADP action plan and implementation process. The Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) of the Ministry of Planning mechanically oversees the progress of the ADP. It is not clear who fell behind for which reason and whether there is any connection with corruption. Last July, we learned that a total of seven ministries, divisions and agencies could not spend even half of the ADP allocation for the whole year. Even agencies like IMED and the ACC, which are responsible for transparency and accountability, have not been able to implement their specific projects in time. Since then, the incompetence of the six departments (Law and Justice, Parliament Secretariat, Public Security, Internal Resources, Public Service Commission) in the first quarter of the financial year was natural.The worst performance in this regard has been by the Ministry of Law and Justice. But they should have been able to to show the best expenditure as their budget allocation is less than required. The budget is so low that the opposition made jokes about the allocation in the last parliamentary session. They proposed to cut the allocation of the law ministry and proposed an allocation of only one taka. About 3 million cases are pending. They are expected to show the most managerial excellence. There has been Tk 3.5 billion allocated for six projects under the Law and Justice Division. But in three months (last July-September) they could not spend even Tk 20 million. If this situation is a measure of the efficiency of this division, it is conceivable that their demand for additional allocation will not be accepted in the next financial year.The parliament secretariat is an independent secretariat constituted by law. They have only one project titled ‘Strengthening Parliament’s Capacity into Population and Development Issues’, for which Tk 8.3 million was allocated. But they could not spend a penny in three months. They are not even dependent on any other ministry or agency to make the decision.Those divisions may use the COVID-19 outbreak as an excuse, but that will be nothing but an excuse. This picture has remained fairly unchanged. The half a dozen departments and constitutional bodies, which spend below 1 per cent in the first quarter, may set a record for spending maximum share in the last quarter. However, like these six, those who cannot maintain transparency and discipline in the process of project implementation will have to be held accountable. The ADP for the current financial year is Tk 2,250 billion. In the first quarter, an average of 8 per cent ADP has been implemented. This is also not satisfactory. The question is what happens in the last quarter? As can be seen in the so-called June-July syndrome, we see a rise in spending the money. It benefits the contractors as they collect the money as soon as they submit the bills. It is is obvious that the quality of the project cannot be checked in that short span of time.We look forward to ending the ongoing trend of ADP implementation. It is important to assess why money cannot be spent in time. But IMED does not do the job properly.

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